WSJ: Lender Renew Financial Secures $70M to Make Houses Energy Efficient

February 16, 2016

Renew Financial, a lender for energy-efficient home improvements, raised $70 million in new funds.

This was a Series D funding that adds to about $40 million the company raised previously, according to Cisco DeVries, Renew’s founder and chief executive.

Oakland, Calif.-based Renew originates and underwrites loans used to make permanent energy improvements, such as the installation of efficient air conditioning systems, new windows or solar systems.

Renew started 2015 by issuing about $10 million in loans during its first month, Mr. DeVries said. In November it issued just shy of $50 million in loans, he said.

New investor LL Funds Inc. joined Renew’s existing backers Apollo Capital Management, Angeleno Group , Claremont Creek Ventures , NGEN Partners and Prelude Ventures in the new round of financing.

Several other companies are active in this sector. Renovate America Inc ., for example, raised $90 million last year from DFJ Growth and Silverlake Kraftwerk, among other investors.

These companies offer PACE financing, which Mr. DeVries invented when he was part of the Berkeley, Calif., local government. PACE, which stands for property-assessed clean energy, allows homeowners to borrow money to pay for energy renovations and then pay the loans back as part of a fee added to their property taxes. PACE is at odds with the Federal Housing Administration , however. The FHA said it plans to issue new guidelines.

Renew Financial offers PACE, as well as unsecured clean-energy home loans. The company has about $750 million in committed capital to issue loans, it said. It is active in eight states and will add more this year, the CEO said.

To qualify the customers have to use certified contractors who are part of Renew’s network.

Write to Yuliya Chernova at Follow her on Twitter @ychernova

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