What Sunrun’s IPO says about the solar industry and Silicon Valley

Posted: June 29, 2015 in Uncategorized


Eight years ago, entrepreneurs Ed Fenster and Lynn Jurich founded residential solar installer Sunrun in San Francisco with backing by some of the most well known firms in Silicon Valley. Fast forward to Thursday, and the company revealed plans to raise $100 million (or probably more) by going public on Nasdaq.

Over the course of the past eight years, the solar industry, and the venture capitalists of Silicon Valley, have faced some dramatic changes. Sunrun’s IPO plans, and its accompanying financial documents, highlight both the evolution of an early solar startup, as well as the increasingly competitive, cash-hungry, and maturing solar market that the company must compete in.


But let’s start at the beginning. In 2007 solar panels were relatively expensive, and the cost to install them on roof tops was still pretty high. The average price to install solar panels (blended across type of project) in…

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