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Exclusive: Bright raises $32M to expand rooftop solar in Mexico

Illustration of a stack of solar panels with a currency band

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Rooftop solar leasing provider Bright closed a $31.5 million Series C to expand residential and commercial solar in Mexico.

Driving the news: The Y Combinator spin-out sees opportunity in a sun-drenched market long clouded by regulatory and political challenges.

How it works: Bright, based in Mexico City, primarily leases solar panels to homeowners and small businesses.

  • The company works with a network of local installers, which it believes will generate support to overcome opposition that has stymied other renewables developers.
  • Customers do have the option of buying the panels outright.

What they're saying: "You need to reduce cost, reduce friction, bring down the cost of capital, and build trust," CEO Jonah Greenberger tells Axios.

State of play: Nearly 25% of electricity in Mexico is lost to theft and an aging grid, making decentralized resources like rooftop solar all the more appealing.

  • Mexico's climate makes it one of the most promising solar markets, but more than 75% of the country's electricity is still generated by fossil fuels.

Yes, but: President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has thrown up roadblocks to renewables in favor of natural gas, halting years of steady growth in solar and wind development.

Details: The Danish SDG Investment Fund, a private equity and impact fund also known by its acronym IFU, led the round.

  • An undisclosed family office joined. The round closed in June.

What's next: Bright sees Mexico as a stepping stone to other Latin American markets.

  • It's eyeing an exit in four to six years, either via IPO or a sale similar to Shell's acquisition of Nigeria-based solar developer Daystar last September.
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