An Australian solar startup wants to raise almost $5 million in crowdfunded equity

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DC Power Co plans an equity crowdfunding campaign to help it become an Australian energy retailer focused just on solar power.

The company wants to raise $4.75 million in equity investment via OnMarket Bookbuilds, which last month gained one of the first seven licenses to run crowdfunding.

Equity crowdfunding enables Australian retail investors to invest as little as $50 or as much as $10,000 in a business.

DC Power Co is in the process of raising a further $10 million through private investment.

The federal government’s ARENA renewables program has provided $750,000 in funding and Venture Advisory is a founding investor and coordinating the private capital raising.

The startup founders include social entrepreneur Nic Frances Gilley, the CEO, who has launched some of the world’s largest energy efficiency campaigns.

Monique Conheady, the founder of Melbourne carsharing service Flexicar, investment banker Emma Jenkin and solar expert Nick Brass are also founding partners.

The company is promising better deals and savings for the nation’s 1.7 million solar panel households, a number forecast to grow to six million by 2050.

“The company founders have all worked in the energy sector in various roles and successfully founded companies and campaigns of this kind previously,” says Gilley.

“We see renewable energy as the way of the future, both as a business model and as an environmentally-responsive solution to current outdated energy business models.

“Inviting customers to be part-owners of their energy company is a unique proposition. Not only do you get a personalised solar service, potentially saving you hundreds of dollars each year on energy costs, you also get a share of the profits, which we think will be considerable given our potential for rapid growth.”

Chris Blyth, Venture Advisory’s managing director, says DC Power provides potential investors with a unique opportunity to get exposure to the fastest growing part of the market, that of the solar rooftop.

“Achieving scale as a retailer with a single focus will provide many future opportunities in terms of installing batteries and other smart home applications that allow demand management,” he says.

The crowdfunding campaign launches March 19 and DC Power Co expects to start operation by the end of the year.

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