As we approach the end of 2016, the Wunder team finds itself reflecting on the last year and the one ahead, as a team typically does.
We have a lot to celebrate, more on that ahead, but most of our discussions have centered on those people that we could not have gotten here without.
If more than one hundred installers and developers hadn’t seen Wunder’s promise and bet on a young company as a financing partner, and if the businesses you’ll read about in the following pages and many others had not chosen to partner with Wunder to finance their solar systems, we certainly would not be here today.
However, since the start of our work in 2013, it has been clear that there is abundant financing demand and installer interest in building commercial solar.
What has been lacking in this market is the capital, and it is our capital partners to whom we find ourselves toasting with particular vigor when celebrating Wunder’s growth over the past year.
We simply could not tackle this problem without our venture capital investors, who injected $3.6mm into the company in Q1 to scale our team and operations, and our fund investors, whose numbers have more than tripled in the past year and range across states, professions, backgrounds, and motivations.
So, we humbly offer this 2016 Year-In-Review as a “thank you” to our capital partners.
To the venture capital investors backing our company, and to the fund investors providing the capital that is literally financing solar across the U.S., this is what your dollars have achieved.
As I’ve discussed with many of you personally, we came to our current fund offering after experimenting with a project-by-project financing model earlier in our company’s evolution.
This type of model is very similar to the one that dominates online P2P and real estate financing platforms.
We found that what most of our investors wanted was not to evaluate and execute 20+ financings to build a diversified solar portfolio, but instead to build one with a single transaction. We made the transition to a fund structure in 2015 and have never looked back.
That said, one of the limitations of the structure we adopted (and borrowed from market-leading lending platforms) has been the loss of project-by-project transparency.
I’m therefore particularly proud of the hard work that our team has done to assemble and get permission to share some specific projects here.
While I hope the summary data we share is enlightening, there’s nothing quite like knowing the project-level impact you’re having.
To finish the Year-In-Review, we highlight our goals for 2017 and how much we have left to do.
Our Term Fund, launched in July of this year, with an 8.5% projected annual return and seven-year term, is opening portions of the commercial market that have, to date, been deeply underserved. With the help of our partner network, we’ve built a Q1 financing pipeline that’s stronger than we’ve ever had before.
We are therefore investing aggressively to expand our capital raising: by exploring structures for non-accredited investors, supporting new investments types such as IRAs and trusts, launching a referral program, and adding to the capital team here at Wunder.
With these efforts and your help we hope to again more than triple our investor base, and send a Year-In-Review for 2017 that dwarfs this one in moving towards our goal of widespread solar adoption in the Unite States. As always, please feel free to email me directly at [email protected] with any feedback, ideas, or questions.