Mosaic, an online marketplace that connects investors to solar projects, sold out its first four projects in less than 24 hours with over 400 investors putting in between $25 and $30,000. In total, investors put in over $313,000 with an average investment of nearly $700. Mosaic still has one project remaining for accredited investors who meet certain financial suitability requirements.
“We see a massive transition coming from fossil fuels to clean energy, and we think people should be able to profit from that transition,” said Billy Parish, Mosaic’s President. “Mosaic is creating the architecture for mass participation in the clean energy economy.”
To date, Mosaic has raised $1.1M from more than 700 investors to finance twelve rooftop solar power plants in California, Arizona and New Jersey. Mosaic’s latest projects were available to residents of California and New York as well as accredited investors from around the country. Here’s what some of Mosaic’s investors had to say:
“A crucial step toward an authentic democracy is to put clean energy in the hands of the public. Mosaic is a true champion of the people,” said Roland Regos, an investor in Mosaic’s first projects. Another investor, Rosana Francescato said, “Mosaic is lowering the barrier for regular people like me — not just rich investors or big companies — to benefit from solar power while providing a good return on investment. I invested in several projects, the process was easy and it only took a few minutes.”
Mosaic’s first investment offerings for New York and California residents are in solar projects on affordable housing apartments for low-income residents in California and offer a 4.5% annual return, net of servicing fees, with terms of approximately nine years. With 10 year Treasuries at near historic lows (1.90%), CDs at 0.5% APY, bonds averaging 5.20% from 2003-2012 and stocks in the S&P 500 averaging 4.95% annualized returns from 2003-2012, Mosaic’s expected yields are competitive with the best investment products on the market.
“We are thrilled at how the public showed up yesterday,” said Mosaic’s CEO, Dan Rosen. “It’s indicative of a pent-up demand that we are working to meet. People want strong returns and want to know what their money is invested in. Our marketplace allows people to sidestep Wall Street by investing in Main Street.”
Though the SEC has not yet adopted rules implementing the crowdfunding provisions of the JOBS Act, Mosaic is pursuing other avenues for crowdfunding clean energy ahead of the adoption of final rules. As President Obama said after signing the JOBS Act in April 2012, “For the first time, ordinary Americans will be able to go online and invest in entrepreneurs that they believe in.”