Accessible, Affordable Solar
Energy Efficiency, Internet Software & Services
Martinsburg, West Virginia
Geostellar is a solar energy marketplace and patented online technology platform. It instantly & interactively tailors solutions for equipment, financing and installation to meet the needs of individual homeowners.
By separating distribution from supply, it seeks to create an efficient marketplace that can provide low prices to the customer, high commissions to distributors, steady volume to suppliers, and healthy margins to the company and its investors.
Its patented platform produces high-resolution solar profiles for over 70 million properties across the U.S. It supports complex queries across every rooftop, field and lot in the United States.
As a consumer, just enter your home address on its website, and it will instantly show you how much you could save by “going solar,” with no out of pocket expense.
To provide you with this estimate, it uses lasers and airplane data to make a 3D computer model of your neighborhood. It then uses the model to calculate the movement of the sun, your roof angle, and shadows over the course of the year. Basically, it figures out how much energy you’ll get from the sun, and how much energy solar panels could generate.
Geostellar’s platform then applies the solar potential to model potential savings on electricity bills based on energy usage, utility rates, available incentives, installation costs, solar panel capacity and financing options.
It then tailors a unique solar solution to meet your energy and financing needs — a solution that, as it says, can increase your home value.
Once you’ve signed on, it will dispatch a qualified professional to verify the solar design, secure the necessary permits, and install the solar panels.
Geostellar pioneered this “big-data geomatics” approach to make solar energy accessible, affordable and plentiful. The company is the recipient of numerous awards, including selection as an IHS Energy Innovation Pioneer, the Global Cleantech100, the Global Cleantech Cluster Association’s Best of Solar and the AlwaysOn GoingGreen Global 200.
* The State of Solar Energy *
Over the last 20 years, the solar energy market has grown at a rate of 30% CAGR.
Solar is still only 1% of the $2 trillion electricity market. Over the next 20 years, however, the electricity market is expected to double and solar will increase by a factor of 10.
Over this period, solar energy will generate $5 trillion in cumulative revenue.
As of today, only 780,000 of the 90 million U.S. homes have gone solar. This is less than 1% residential market penetration. In 2015, solar energy represented 40% of all new electric generating capacity in the US, more than any other energy technology.
The total US solar energy market (residential, commercial and utility scale) was $18 billion in 2015.
The point at which solar energy drops below conventional electricity is known as “grid parity,” which has been achieved in much of the country. The average cost of residential retail electricity in the U.S. is over $0.12/kWh, while the average cost of solar energy is less than $0.08/kWh.
Over time, as solar panels become less expensive and more efficient, the company believes that solar energy will increase in popularity. Solar costs have dropped 70% since 2009. At the same time, grid electricity costs increase by 50% every decade.
* The Solar Energy Competitive Landscape *
Geostellar is a “virtually integrated” solar energy provider, providing the company with what it believes are significant cost advantages over “vertically integrated” providers such as SolarCity, SunRun and Vivint.
It believes it has lower fixed costs, customer acquisition costs and project costs than integrated installers.
Geostellar has no warehousing or equipment inventory. All project labor is contracted through locally licensed installers. Equipment is shipped from the distributor to the contractor at the time of installation. Financing is provided by third parties. Customer acquisition is accomplished by channel partners leveraging Geostellar’s patented technology.
It believes that integrated installers tend to have large workforces, significant equipment inventory, logistical challenges and complex financing and risk management programs that add up to high fixed costs. Customer Acquisition Cost is also high with massive canvassing, direct marketing and telesales programs.
It also believes that it offers a better value to the customer than integrated installers. It believes, for example, that Geostellar’s installations cost less than those of integrated installers. Because electricity is a commodity, a lower price per kWh of electricity produced is a more compelling offer.
It further believes that it has higher profit margins than vertically integrated installers.
Even at lower prices, it believes its profit margins are higher than those of integrated installers.
Because the vertically integrated installers have higher installed costs and more expensive financing, it believes they can only compete with utility rates above $0.14/kWh or with significant regional incentives. It believes that this leaves under half the states in the country for the integrated installers. Geostellar can compete successfully in states with utility rates as low as $0.08/kWh, providing a much broader market.
(Note that market sizing estimates are from Deutsche Bank, with additional market information by Solar Energy Industry Associates. Additional discussion around solar economics and adoption provided by the U.S. Energy Information Administration).
Since 2013, the company’s CAGR is 210%. Its 2015 revenue were $5,486,000.
Fortune 500 companies such as 3M, Cisco, and J&J already use the company for their exclusive solar employee benefits programs.
David Levine – Co-Founder & CEO
Prior to Geostellar, David held a variety of business and technical leadership roles for geospatial pioneers Lanworth, Sewall and ImageTree, where he conceived some of the “big-data geomatic” models and simulations that provide the foundation for Geostellar’s instant, interactive solar simulation.
Previous entrepreneurial endeavors include Gamebryo, a video game technology platform (founded as Butterfly.net), Ultraprise, a marketplace for whole loans on the secondary market, and HuskyLabs, cited by WebWeek as the first Web design and Internet integration company.
In the spring of 1994, David presented a paper on the “Virtual Reconstruction of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum” at the First International Conference on the World Wide Web at CERN Particle Physics Lab. In 1996, Harcourt Brace published his work “Live Java: Database to Cyberspace,” one of the first books on the Java programming language.
David graduated from Yale University with a degree in Philosophy.
Jeremy Dobrzanski – Co-Founder & CTO
Before co-founding Geostellar, Jeremy served as a software engineer for The Library Corporation, building java-based Web applications.
Jeremy previously worked with CEO David Levine as a senior software engineer at Gamebryo, building a large-scale distributed massively-multiplayer gaming platform, and as a software engineer at Ultraprise, developing a platform for whole loan transaction on the secondary market.
Jeremy is equally adept at lean/agile Web development with Ruby-on-Rails and complex solar energy and finance simulations using Python.
He leads the software engineering team in a high-velocity, high-quality environment that includes test-driven development (TDD) and continual integration and deployment.
Mike Rhodes – Co-Founder & CFO
Mike Rhodes has over 25 years experience providing financial leadership to high growth organizations.
With specific experience in due diligence, structuring & executing M&A transactions, Mike closed more than $400 million of financing (debt & equity) deals in his career.
His industry experience is in government, manufacturing, software, media, technology, telco, publishing and energy.
Mike began his career as a finance manager for Hamilton Sundstrand, a division of United Technologies Corporation (UTC), where he was responsible for the creation of a UTC majority owned joint venture in Moscow.
He also served as Senior Compliance Auditor – Lead Auditor to ensure compliance with USG (FAR, DAR, TINA, CAS) and UTC regulations, Senior Planning Analyst, Space & Sea Systems Dept, where he formulated financial statements, financial plans, managed Profit Assurance & Asset Management teams, calculated USG labor & OH rates for proposals, controlled IR&D/B&P spending, and Senior Financial Control Analyst, Space & Sea Systems, where he managed all financial responsibilities on a $150M FPI classified program.
As Investment Officer of the Global Partner Ventures (GPV) Mike managed direct equity investments and structured loan instruments in Russian-American JVs for a $100M venture capital fund. He supervised a Deal Team responsible for screening, analyzing, negotiating, closing, and monitoring investments. He also managed GPV’s Defense Enterprise Fund, which provided US Congress funds to assist the conversion of former military factories in Russia to peaceful civilian enterprises.
As Vice President for C1 Venture Partners, Mike performed financial consulting services and boutique investment banking to high tech startups. He prepared business plans, assisted in raising seed capital, managed due diligence efforts, and provided strategic direction to the 10+ clients of C1VP. Mike executed and closed on a $5M equity investment from a major ISP and negotiated and signed a $20M deal with a syndicated group of VCs and served as a member of the Board of Directors of two client companies.
As Vice President at MCG Capital, Mike managed a portfolio of debt & equity investments for a billion dollar market cap company (NASDAQ:MCGC). He was responsible for up to 17 deals at a time, totaling $145M in debt and $27M in equity investments in the publishing, BIS, media, telecom, telecom tower & security alarm markets.
Before joining Geostellar, Mike served as CFO of Crystal Media Networks (CMN), a former portfolio company of MCG Capital. CMN was a mid-sized commercial radio advertising & technology company with offices in MD, NY and Chicago. CMN’s media networks delivered the most A2554 Arbitron rated audience in the top 50 networks in the U.S. to Fortune 50 clients, and it provided enterprise-level streaming music players to more than 400 radio stations.
Tech and entertainment-focused early-stage venture firm. Investments include WorldWide Express.
Select Venture Partners
Early-stage tech venture firm. Investments include Regalii, CampusLogic, and Miner.