SOURCE: Mercom Capital Group, llc

Mercom Capital Group, llc

January 07, 2015 11:52 ET

Total Corporate Funding Increases 175 Percent to $26.5 Billion in the Solar Sector, VC Funding Doubles, Strong Public Market, Debt Financing and IPO Activity, Reports Mercom Capital Group

AUSTIN, TX--(Marketwired - Jan 7, 2015) - 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 2014.

Total corporate funding into the solar sector encompassing venture capital/private equity (VC), debt and public market financing increased 175 percent in 2014 with $26.5 billion (B), compared to $9.6B in 2013.

Global VC investments more than doubled to $1.3B in 85 deals in 2014, compared to $612 (M) in 98 deals in 2013.

Chart: Solar VC funding

"The big story coming out of 2014 was the revival of capital markets -- solar companies were able to access funding through multiple avenues like VC, public markets, IPOs and debt in record numbers, while the quest for lower cost of capital continued with Yieldcos and securitization deals. The solar sector has come a long way from being perceived as a speculative high risk investment to attracting investors based on low risk attractive dividend yields," said Raj Prabhu, CEO of Mercom Capital Group.

Solar downstream companies saw the largest amount of VC funding in 2014 with $1.1B in 44 deals, accounting for 85 percent of venture funding. Investments in PV technology companies reached $75M in 12 deals and Balance of Systems companies were close behind with $73M in seven deals. CSP companies came in at $59M in three deals, followed by thin film companies with $52M in nine deals.

The Top 5 VC funded companies in 2014 were Sunnova Energy which raised $505M in three deals; followed by Sunrun raising $150M; Renewable Energy Trust Capital raised in $125M; Sungevity raised $72.5M; and GlassPoint Solar raised $53M.

A total of 119 VC investors were active in 2014, with 12 investors participating in more than one round in 2014 including: Acero Capital, Acumen Fund, DBL Investors, E.ON, Ecosystem Integrity Fund, Novus Energy Partners, Omidyar Network, SolarCity, Sustainable Development Technology Canada, Trident Capital, Vision Ridge Partners and Vulcan Capital.

Public market financing increased considerably to $5.2B in 52 deals in 2014, up from just $2.8M in 39 deals in 2013. In 2014 seven IPOs brought in more than $2B. Yieldcos accounted for three of the IPOs for $1.5B.

Announced debt financing in 2014 totaled almost $20B in 58 deals, compared to $6.2B in 38 deals in 2013. China accounted for $15.8B of the debt activity.

Large-scale project funding announced in 2014 totaled $14.2B in 144 deals.

Residential and commercial funds showed strong growth in 2014 with 34 announced funds totaling $4B.

Chart: Public Market Financing for Solar

Corporate M&A activity in solar totaled $4B in a record 116 transactions compared to $12.7B in 81 transactions in 2013.

Chart: Solar Top 5 M&A Transactions

Large-scale solar project acquisitions totaled $3.2B in 2014, compared to $1.7B in 2013. Transaction activity was up 46 percent year-over-year, with 163 deals in 2014. A total of 6.4 GW of large-scale solar projects were acquired in 2014.

To learn more about the report, visit: http://store.mercom.mercomcapital.com/product/2014-q4-solar-funding-report/

About Mercom Capital Group
Mercom Capital Group, llc, is a global communications and consulting firm focused on cleantech and financial communications. Mercom's consulting division advises cleantech companies on new market entry, custom market intelligence and overall strategic decision making. Mercom's communications division helps clean energy companies with their public relations strategies, building powerful relationships with media, analysts, government decision makers, local communities and strategic partners. For more information, visit: http://www.mercomcapital.com.

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