Solar Mosaic has raised $2.5 million in its first round of funding for its crowdfunding website that plans to raise money for community solar projects.
The Oakland, CA start-up will allow everyone to invest in community solar projects using crowdfunding - an online peer-to-peer lending system that allows individuals to invest - as little as $100 - in solar projects in their communities. Investors get paid back and can earn a return from each project's eventual revenue.
That removes community projects from the need to get financing from banks, which raise the cost of projects with their high lending rates. Solar Mosaic has a zero-interest investment model.
Still in beta-testing, over 400 people invested more than $350,000 to finance five solar plants in Arizona and California, creating 73 kilowatts of solar, saving community organizations $600,000 on utility bills and producing 2,700 job hours for local workers.
Spring Ventures led the investment round, with Serious Change, Jim Sandler, Steve Wolf, Tom Chi, and a group of angels from the "Toniic" investor network participating.
Read our article on Crowdfunding and what it can do for renewable energy: