Photo voltaic software program start-up Aurora Photo voltaic raised $50 million in its newest funding spherical, a big chunk of change for the photo voltaic software program area.

Funding agency ICONIQ Capital led the Sequence B. Energize VC and Pear Ventures, funders that pitched into Aurora’s Sequence A, supplanted ICONIQ’s funding, together with actual estate-focused enterprise capital agency Fifth Wall.

Lots of the photo voltaic business’s greatest names, reminiscent of SunPower and Vivint Photo voltaic, use Aurora’s software program to design rooftop photo voltaic techniques. Distant imaging, which was already a typical for a lot of photo voltaic tasks, develop into much more integral throughout the coronavirus pandemic when stay-at-home orders slowed inspections and allowing. In latest months, residential photo voltaic corporations have shifted extra of their work on-line. 

“The pandemic has accelerated traits in direction of distant processes,” stated Aurora co-founder Sam Adeyemo in a press release.

In contrast to some photo voltaic corporations, Aurora has seen an uptick in enterprise throughout the pandemic. Companions designed 1 million tasks with Aurora’s distant modeling software program within the six months spanning April to October, a charge that outpaces previous system designs, the corporate instructed Greentech Media. That brings techniques designed with the software program to a complete of four million as of final month.  

“Correct system web site design with sturdy shading evaluation … are so essential when you possibly can’t go to individuals’s houses for web site surveys,” stated Wooden Mackenzie photo voltaic analyst Molly Cox. “Extra streamlined design processes normally simply assist with the general efforts to scale back gentle prices for each residential and C&I [solar].”

In Q2 2020, so-called gentle prices, which embrace labor and design, accounted for almost all of common per-watt set up costs for residential photo voltaic, based on WoodMac. 

The newest funding spherical brings San Francisco-based Aurora’s complete investments to greater than $70 million. These funds outdistance cash raised by different photo voltaic design software program corporations, a lot of that are positioned in California’s Bay Space. San Francisco’s Folsom Labs, the designer of HelioScope, has publicly introduced about $1 million in funding. Sight, positioned in the identical metropolis, has raised $5 million, based on Crunchbase.

Aurora will spend the cash on ehancing distant gross sales and web site audits, increasing providers tied to its software program and including “a whole lot of individuals throughout the group, with concentrate on engineering, product and buyer success” stated Adeyemo. Final 12 months the corporate started working with Google, incorporating the tech large’s knowledge into its software program and rising the accuracy of designs.  

After a flat 2020, Wooden Mackenzie expects the residential photo voltaic market to proceed development by 2021 because the funding tax credit score follows its present stepdown schedule.

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