Solar Power Startup Bright Raises $4 Million To Distribute Energy In The Developing World
Bright is building the "Solar City for Mexico.”
Energy is expensive and often complicated in the country, costing upwards of $4,000 MXD ($250 USD) in hot summer months in some cases, according to the Mexican Federal Electric Commission.
The Mexican government has a program to subsidize energy costs for the poorest citizens, but it doesn’t cover everyone. This is where Bright founder Jonah Greenberger sees potential. The 28-year-old founder and former Chevron exec likens government subsidies to letting the DMV control energy.
“Solar is the path forward. Specifically, it’s a solution that doesn’t need to be centrally controlled and distributed (i.e. it can sit on roofs instead of in one large location in a desert), which means we can be independent from a totally government controlled solution,” Greenberger said.
It works by installing solar panels for free and then providing a subscription service similar to what we do in the U.S. for cable television.
Soma invested in the seed round. Bright raised their Series A led by Felicis, First Round Capital, Susa, Sam Walton, and Y Combinator.
“We see technology that enables energy financing as a huge opportunity, and as the way to accelerate adoption,” YC president Sam Altman said. “We knew this was a significant opportunity, but didn’t find the right team and model until Bright.”
Greenberger plans to use the funding to hire and grow the team “so that we can tackle one of the largest and most significant challenges of our lifetime – delivering clean energy to a planet of over 7 billion people,” he told TechCrunch.
Bright will also work on improving its financial and solar software, allowing startup partners to sell, approve, install, and verify installations.