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Exclusive: Sunlight Financial CEO Joins 'SPACs Attack' To Talk Solar, Going Public And More

Exclusive: Sunlight Financial CEO Joins 'SPACs Attack' To Talk Solar, Going Public And More

Sunlight Financial CEO Matt Potere joined the "SPACs Attack" show on Wednesday to talk about the company’s path to the NYSE, the solar market and more.

Going Public via SPAC: Sunlight is a leading U.S. residential solar financing platform that is going public through a merger with Spartan Acquisition Corp. II (NYSE: SPRQ), which is affiliated with alternative asset management giant Apollo Global Management (NYSE: APO).

“We are cash flow and income positive," Potere told Benzinga. "We did not need to raise capital, but the opportunity to be able to access the capital markets and to be able to do it through a SPAC sponsored by Apollo, is a tremendous opportunity for us."

About Sunlight Financial: Sunlight’s B-2-B-2-C fintech platform allows residential solar contractors to offer point-of-sale financing for homeowners, and has funded over $3.5 billion of loans through its platform to-date.

The company also counts Chamath Palihapitiya, Franklin Templeton and Neuberger Berman as investors via the PIPE, or private investment in public equity.

“We are really pleased with the support of the quality investors who are believing in our story and who are supporting us,” Potere said referring to the company’s investors.

Business Model: Benzinga asked Potere about the company’s B-2-B-2-C residential solar model.

Potere said people don’t wake up and go to buy solar; it's sold by sales people who go to customers' homes and explain to them how it works.

“Then we are the C-model partnered with 1000+ solar installers and home improvement contractors, this is the B-2-B model and they introduce us to the consumers once they decide that they want to use solar or make home improvements,” said Potere.

Solar Industry Prices: Benzinga asked Potere about the decreasing solar prices and increasing electric prices.

He said there are two trends now: the cost of solar is coming down because soft and solar equipment is getting cheaper. This makes solar less expensive on an absolute basis. Historically, the utility prices are increasing in a 2%-4% range, which makes utility power more expensive on a relative basis.

“If you put these two things together you get significant growth in the overall market,” he said

Buy Now Pay Later Model: Benzinga asked Potere about the company’s buy now pay later” model.

Typical solar system costs $30,000-35,0000.

“We are allowing customers to go solar with no money down, and because of how solar’s economic impact works customers can save money long-term,” Potere said.

About Partnerships: The company says it has relationships with nine of the 10 biggest solar installer companies and has 1,000+ home improvements and solar installers on its platform.

“We estimate that our partners generate 50% of the solar installations on the market.”

New Administration: At the end of 2020, the solar tax-credit was extended by two years by the Trump administration. Potere said Solar is a huge producer of jobs and has a big economic impact.

“Biden administration has been very vocal about their support very supportive for renewables and to help drive volume in this industry.”

Revenue Estimates: In the second half of 2020, Potere said the company originated $2 billion in annualized revenue volume.

“When you look out over the next couple of years and you look at our volume forecasts it’s certainly significant growth," he said.


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