Bodhi secures $4 million in funding to help solar companies better serve their customers

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When consumers install residential solar panels, they are often left in the dark throughout the process, said Scott Nguyen, founder and CEO of Bodhi.

After signing the contract, they don’t know how long the installation will take and what the different steps are, he said.

“You can buy $30 worth of takeout and know when it goes into the oven, when it goes into the delivery vehicle, and when it’s delivered to your front door,” Nguyen said. “You buy a

A $30,000 solar system and you have no idea when it’s going to be installed, and what the next steps are in the process.

That’s what happened to Nguyen when he installed solar panels on his home in Austin. And that sparked the idea of ​​creating Bodhi, which creates a customer experience software platform for solar installation companies.

Bodhi integrates with a solar company’s customer relationship management software to customize the owner’s solar installation. And once the system is working, Bodhi’s smartphone app sends owners information about its performance.

Nguyen founded Bodhi in 2018 and completed the Mass Challenge acceleration program. Bodhi has customers nationwide and has grown steadily as demand for solar installations has skyrocketed in recent years, Nguyen said.

When the pandemic hit in March 2020, Bodhi shut everything down and Nguyen didn’t know when the market would return. But he came back after about three months with a vengeance, he said. Consumers, many of whom are stuck at home, decided to push ahead with upgrades like solar installations, and demand increased almost overnight, Nguyen said.

The Texas Blizzard in February 2021 and the resulting statewide blackouts also contributed to increased demand in Texas from consumers wanting a solar home system with battery storage, Nguyen said.

To meet demand, Austin-based Bodhi last week announced the closing of a $4 million funding round led by Clean Energy Ventures, a venture capital firm funding early-stage climate technology innovation. .

With the new funding, Nguyen plans to hire more engineers, sales and marketing, and operations staff. Bodhi currently has six full-time employees and two part-time employees. It expects to double by the end of the year, Nguyen said. Bodhi also develops new products.

“Over the decades, the difficult costs facing the solar industry have dropped dramatically, but what we’ve noticed is that customers are still hesitant to make the leap to solar,” said Daniel Goldman , co-founder and managing partner of Clean Energy Ventures. in a press release. “Our investment in Bodhi is based on the potential to make consumer solar purchases seamless, hassle-free and end-to-end. Bodhi’s platform is designed to mitigate any customer pain points in the installation process and post-installation monitoring, removing the last remaining barriers to greater adoption of solar power. »

Texas ranks second in installed solar capacity, which accounts for less than 3% of the energy generated in the state, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association. California ranks first with nearly 25% of the state’s electricity generated from solar power.

“Texas is poised to become a national solar power leader, with over 4 GW of capacity expected to be installed over the next 5 years, with the right state policy that removes market barriers and recognizes the benefits of solar energy,” according to SEIA.

Texas has more than 137,000 solar installations, and solar investments have topped $14.4 billion, according to SEIA. Its report shows that Texas has 86 solar manufacturers, 201 installers and developers, and 225 other companies involved in the solar industry.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some solar companies have encountered supply chain issues, especially with solar batteries, Nguyen said. Solar panels are still available and have not been widely affected, he said. Labor shortages are also an issue for installation companies, he said. Despite these issues, prices are falling, he said.

Prices for solar systems in Texas have fallen 11% over the past five years, according to SEIA.

Nguyen says Bodhi’s work in solar is just the beginning. The company plans to expand into other areas like home building and home buying.

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