Debt and VC funding up, Increased M&A activity
AUSTIN, Texas – April 10, 2017 – Mercom Capital Group, llc, a global clean energy communications and consulting firm, released its report on funding and merger and acquisition (M&A) activity for the solar sector in the first quarter of 2017.
Total corporate funding (including venture capital funding, public market and debt financing) into the solar sector in Q1 2017 doubled with $3.2 billion compared to $1.6 billion in Q4 2016. Year-over-year (YoY) funding in Q1 2017 was about 15 percent higher compared to the $2.8 billion raised in Q1 2016. To learn more about the report, visit: http://bit.ly/MercomSolarQ12017
“Q1 funding levels were up in the solar sector from the 2016 lows, largely due to increased debt financing activity. Corporate funding never reached $3 billion in any of the quarters in 2016. M&A activity was also strong with several large deals. Solar public companies also had a good first quarter,” commented Raj Prabhu, CEO of Mercom Capital Group.
Global VC funding (venture capital, private equity, and corporate venture capital) for the solar sector saw a 78 percent rise this quarter with $585 million in 22 deals compared to $329 million raised in the same number of deals in Q4 2016. The amount raised was also higher YoY compared to the $406 million raised in 23 deals in Q1 2016.
A large part of the VC funding in Q1 2017 went to solar downstream companies; $548 million was raised in nine deals.
Top VC deals included the $200 million raised by ReNew Power Ventures followed by the $155 million raised by Greenko Energy Holdings, the $125 million secured by Hero Future Energies, and then Silicon Ranch’s $55 million. A total of 23 VC investors participated in Q1 2017.
Solar public market financing came to $461 million in 13 deals in Q1 2017, slightly lower compared to the $615 million (also in 13 deals) in Q4 2016, but significantly higher compared to the same quarter of last year when $94 million was raised in four deals. There was one IPO in Q1 2017 by Clenergy compared to two in Q4 2016.
Announced debt financing came in strong with $2.2 billion raised in 25 deals. In comparison, there were 10 deals in Q4 2016 for a total of $610 million. YoY, $2.3 billion was raised in 19 deals in Q1 2016. Most of the debt was raised by solar downstream companies.
In Q1 2017, Solar Mosaic raised $139 million through the first securitization of its residential solar loan portfolio at a 4.45 percent interest rate.
Announced large-scale project funding in Q1 2017 remained steady with $2.6 billion in 33 deals compared to $3 billion in 38 deals in Q4 2016. In a YoY comparison, $1.4 billion was raised in 24 deals in Q1 2016.
Residential and commercial solar funds announced in Q1 2017 dropped to $630 million in six deals compared to $1.5 billion in eight deals in Q4 2016. During the same quarter last year (Q1 2016), $1 billion was raised in six deals. Of the $630 million announced this quarter, $500 million went towards the lease/PPA model and $130 million went to loan funds. A total of more than $23 billion has now gone into residential and commercial funds since 2009.
Mercom tracked 233 new large-scale project announcements worldwide in Q1 2017 totaling 12.7 GW. To learn more about the report, visit: http://bit.ly/MercomSolarQ12017