Leonardo DiCaprio invests in fintech that finances solar panels in Mexico
When Jonah Greenberger, a mechanical engineer out of Stanford University who grew up in Wyoming, U.S., was finishing a master’s degree in thermodynamics, he went looking for a list of which countries are the sunniest in the world.
“We were exploring different countries and Mexico is very sunny, it’s at the top of that list,” Greenberger said in an interview with Forbes Mexico. That’s why he came to Mexico City, to settle in a country that has an annual average of 5.3 kilowatt-hours per square meter of solar irradiation per day and co-found Bright, a fintech that finances the installation and use of solar panels in homes and businesses.
This company, founded in 2014, is finishing up a $35 million Series C investment round, in which actor Leonardo DiCaprio, also an environmental activist who invests in technologies that help reduce global warming, participated. The capital injection came mostly from MGM Innova, which, like DiCaprio, was also an existing investor.
Bright, which serves more than 4,500 subscribers in 60 Mexican cities, including homes and businesses, wants to be the SunRun for developing countries, so it will probably soon expand into Colombia, Brazil and Southeast Asia. They are raising more than 50 million dollars (mdd) the total capital raised between investment and debt since its origins, having also among its investors the fund First Round Capital, the accelerator Y Combinator and the CEO of Grupo Bimbo Daniel Servitje in a personal capacity.
“I am proud to be one of the first investors in Bright, a company that pioneered the early days of residential solar in Latin America and is now the largest distributed solar generation company in Mexico,” said Leonardo Di Caprio in a written statement.
The company partners with local installers and with its platform provides the workflow automation and financing layer (which they offer through an agreement they have with the Inter-American Development Bank) to enable scale and grow exponentially in customers.
Greenberger maintains that in the new phase, the company will serve a new segment: industrial. “We want to bring solar panels to factories and manufacturing plants,” he noted.
Bright has employees in 30 different cities, and the team adopted remote work before the pandemic. “I live between Mexico City and Wyoming, because we want to understand the needs of customers,” adds Jonah Greenberger.
According to the International Energy Agency, energy demand in the region is expected to increase by 50% by 2030 due to increased private transportation and changes in land use, requiring estimated global investments of up to $1.5 trillion.