California-based solar energy system provider SolarCity has secured $81 million in equity financing the company said Wednesday.
The funding round was co-led by the recently formed energy-focused platform of Silver Lake Partners -- Silver Lake Kraftwerk and Valor Equity Partners -- and will be used to support SolarCity's expansion plans and "potential acquisitions."
Growth, it seems, is what SolarCity is all about. Founded in 2006 by Peter and Lyndon Rive, the company was originally backed in part by an investment of $10 million from Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk. Since then SolarCity has rapidly expanded and has 20,000 projects completed or underway in 15 states, and was recently named tenth on Fast Company's list of the 50 most innovative companies in the World in 2012.
Larger expansion plans are on the horizon, highlighted by the company's plan to file an initial public offering (IPO) worth an estimated $1.5 billion.
So, it comes with little surprise there is intrest from investors to get in on the ground floor -- or perhaps middle floor -- with a rising star in the U.S. solar market.
"SolarCity is making clean energy more accessible and affordable, and we’re excited for the opportunity to invest in its operations,” said Antonio Gracias, CEO of Valor Equity Partners.
However, SolarCity may not have the cleanest record in its ascension to the top. Two weeks ago rival SunPower Corp. filed suit against SolarCity for allegedly accepting stolen documents from former SunPower employees now working at SolarCity.
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