Hallowed VC firm Kleiner Perkins is certainly not acting like a company getting out of the greentech investing business, as has been recently alleged.
Last week, the firm made an investment in home energy efficiency player OPower as part of a $50 million round (along with Accel and NEA). And this week, we've heard from extremely reliable sources that Kleiner, along with Google Ventures, has made a significant investment in solar SaaS firm Clean Power Finance (CPF).
Ben Kortlang, a partner at KP, declined to answer our inquiry -- from experience, an encouraging sign, in Ben's case, that the rumor is true.
CPF provides a standardized software tool that lets solar panel installers speed up the sales proposal, rebate and lead generation processes. They've flirted with the idea of providing point-of-purchase financing, as well.
Clean Power Finance won a $6.9M financing round from Claremont Creek Ventures, Clean Pacific Ventures, Sand Hill Angels and cleantech investor Gary Kremen earlier this year.
Based in occasionally sunny San Francisco, the company aims to enable mass-market adoption of solar by providing an end-to-end solution that integrates software and financing into the sales process.
Solar installers work with trucks, ladders, tool belts, and roofs. They tend to dislike paperwork. So, Clean Power Finance runs that part of the business for the installer and keeps the installer closer to the customer. CPF supplies the integrated software but soon expects to provide a means of financing solar roofs for home and business owners.
As the price of the solar equipment drops, the 'soft costs' of the sale and installation become more significant. CPF is the CRM and MRP and system designer, producing the proposals and filling out the forms. The company also does shading analysis -- and that saves the installer at least one visit to the site.
As testament to the value of their Software as a Service product, CPF has won Conergy, Real Goods, RoofRay, and Suntech as customers.
Representatives of the company declined to comment.
Michael Kanellos contributed to this article.