10 Updates

Solar Power Social Enterprise Raises $1M In Equity Crowdfunding

Apr 30 2014, 7:11pm CDT | by

Let’s just say social  entrepreneur David Levine owes a big “thank you” to the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS). Passed in 2012 , it allows startups , including social enterprises, to tap...

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12 weeks ago

Solar Power Social Enterprise Raises $1M In Equity Crowdfunding

Apr 30 2014, 7:11pm CDT | by

Let’s just say social  entrepreneur David Levine owes a big “thank you” to the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS). Passed in 2012 , it allows startups , including social enterprises, to tap a new source of financing–equity crowdfunding.

Levine founded Geostellar , a  four year old online solar marketplace that also aims to map the solar power potential of every residence in the U.S., while demonstrating to homeowners their potential cost savings. 

Recently, however, while embarking on an effort to raise $1 million in order to revamp his business model, his biggest financial backer decided it wouldn’t continue funding the enterprise , putting a major damper on Levine ‘s efforts to convince other folks to get in on the act.  Then Levine listed his Martinsburg, WV-based company on Return on Change , a crowd- funding platform for social enterprises (I wrote about it last year) and, thanks to some smart maneuvering , was able to raise the money anyway.

Levine, a serial entrepreneur, raised $2 million in an angel round in 2011 and $14 million in a second round the next year. But right as he launched another fundraising effort, his major investor decided for strategic reasons it wouldn’t participate. “It makes it very difficult to raise another round if your major investor won’t keep investing,” he says.

According to Levine, the investor agreed to reset all of the preferred stock to common stock , allowing Levine to raise money at a lower valuation without hurting the company or other investors.  They worked out a recapitalization plan in which Levine would invest some of his own money, raise more money ($1 million) and sell current investors more stock at the new low price.

Then,  Levine heard about Return on Change and decided to see if he could raise $1 million in three months through the site. Shortly after listing, an investor proposed he make an investment through a self-directed IRA.   Levine then learned from the company’s custodian that, if Geostellar could register its preferred stock offering as a security with the custodian,  an investor could move his or her retirement account into a new  one, which would purchase the preferred stock, maintaining the tax advantages. With that, according to Levine,  investors started clamoring to join in.  He raised the money successfully.

What does the Geostellar system do? Basically , homeowners enter an address and the average cost of their monthly electricity bills on a web site, then Geostellar’s technology presents a clear comparison of the benefits and costs of solar leases, loans and cash purchases. The “secret sauce”, as Levine puts it, is technology using 3-D imagery, which allows you to zero in on your home on a map  and see through  infrared colors how much sunlight your residence can get and the solar power potential  for your abode. Then you can click on various installation financing options—say, leasing or paying in cash—and see what kind of return you’d get and how quickly it would take to start saving money.

With the funding , Levine plans to overhaul his sales approach. Instead of  relying on solar power installers, he’ll use door-to-door sales teams employing a mobile app with which they can explain the results to homeowners, along with call centers and an arrangement with the Spirit Foundation in Austin, which trains veterans to do home energy audits, among other tasks. 

 The system has data on about 80 million homes. Says Levine, “Now we’re working our way through the Midwest and South.”

 
Update
10

6 weeks ago

RM47mil KWSG contributions still unclaimed

Jun 9 2014 7:54am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

Cambodia's Famous Battambang Circus
KUALA LUMPUR: About RM47 million of contributions in the Teachers Provident Fund (KWSG) still remain unclaimed, the Dewan R ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
9

7 weeks ago

Gold shop lost almost RM1mil

Jun 9 2014 3:50am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

New Zealand All Blacks Squad Announcement
KANGAR: A gold shop owner lost almost RM1 million after after the safe on in his shop was broken i ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
8

7 weeks ago

Motion to debate MAS losses in Dewan Rakyat rejected

Jun 9 2014 3:39am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

Federal Aviation Administration Bans All US Flights To Israel
KUALA LUMPUR: AN emergency motion to debate the losses incurred by Malaysia Airlines last year, amounting to RM1.2 billion was rejected by the Dewan ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
7

7 weeks ago

MH370 Tragedy: Hisham: RM27.6 mil spent on 1st phase of SAR

Jun 9 2014 2:11am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia spent some RM27.6 million in its first phase of the search operations for missing Malaysia Airline flight MH370, said Acting Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hu ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
6

7 weeks ago

9.1m litres of diesel seized in a month

Jun 8 2014 1:11am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

INDIA-CHINA-DIPLOMACY-TRADE
PUTRAJAYA: The Domestic Trade, Cooperatives, and Consumerism ministry has seized some 9.1 million litres of diesel and property worth RM58 million since mounting ‘Operasi Diesel Selatan’ in the southern states last month. ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
5

7 weeks ago

Girl, 9, awarded RM2.78m compensation for medical negligence

Jun 6 2014 4:56am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

Government Weekly Cabinet Meeting
KUALA LUMPUR: A nine-year-old girl who suffered brain damage during her birth at a government hospital was awarded over RM2.78 million in comp ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
4

7 weeks ago

Malaysia's total trade in April up 12pc

Jun 5 2014 11:52pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's total trade in April 2014 rose by 12 per cent from a year ago to RM123.86 billion due to growing trading activities, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri M ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
3

7 weeks ago

Works Ministry to spend RM20m for upgrading works at 50 accident black spots

Jun 4 2014 11:35pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

Iskandar Johor Open - Previews
JOHOR BARU: The Works Ministry will implement upgrading works at 50 accident prone locations in the country that have been identified this year involving an allocation of R ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
2

7 weeks ago

Najib launches loan scheme for Ramadan traders

Jun 4 2014 10:24pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM - Day One
PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today launches RM45 million Ramadan ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
1

7 weeks ago

Residents bring up objection against Kidex to Suhakam

Jun 4 2014 4:49am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PETALING JAYA: A group of 20 Petaling Jaya residents held a meeting with the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) over their objection against the proposed RM2.2 billion Kinrara Damansara Sky ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 

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