Brighte set to accelerate growth with $18.5m in funding

Brighte set to accelerate growth with $18.5m in funding

Sydney-based home energy fintech, Brighte, closes 18 months of strong growth with a Series B equity round of $18.5m. The round was led by Airtree Ventures and also includes Skip Capital, the Milgrom Family and further investment from Grok Ventures.

Brighte is a digital credit platform offering affordable point-of-sale payment solutions for home energy improvements such as solar panels and batteries.

In its first eighteen months it has over approved over $50m of applications from 6,000+ Australian homeowners. This stellar growth has been the result of a fully digital, innovative product being brought to the home improvements market as demand surges from everyday Australians for solutions to rising energy costs.

Brighte’s growth continues to accelerate with over $9m in financed forecast to be approved this month in May – over 40% increase on the previous month.

The new equity investment will fund the next stage of growth. The platform already delivers an average 9-second response time on automated decisions, but the next stage will focus on improving all aspects of the experience for vendors and homeowners. Machine learning and artificial intelligence, both areas that Brighte has already invested in, are key focus areas as the business looks to deliver a world-class point-of-sale platform. The funding will also support investment in new product development.

“In our first 18 months Brighte has had a significant impact on the payments industry by innovating at the point-of-sale by providing frictionless payments solutions to homeowners for purchases related to the home” said Brighte’s CEO and founder, Katherine McConnell.

“The demand is real. Every day we speak to homeowners looking for an affordable way to buy the latest innovations, like solar and batteries. They want to take control of their energy costs today – and Brighte gives them the ability to do this.”

“We also have very strong support from 450+ vendors around the country – not only have we given them a digital tool that helps them quickly close a sale, this year we also commenced providing our vendors with leads from homeowners wanting to buy with Brighte. Just another example of how Brighte can work together with our vendors to help them grow their business”

Airtree Ventures, who have invested in Canva and Prospa led the $18.5m round. Airtree Ventures co-founder and partner Craig Blair will join the Brighte board.

Blair commented on the Brighte investment: “From day one, I was impressed by Katherine’s deep connection to home energy improvements and her significant domain knowledge in point of finance solutions. With a frictionless application process, near instant decisioning, and all the while maintaining industry leading credit levels, Brighte is well poised to pioneer point of sale in the $35bn home improvement market.

With a significant investment in engineering and data, we expect the product and decisioning advantage to increase over time. We are excited to be partnering with Katherine and her team.”

Grok Ventures, who led Brighte’s $4m Series A round, have also participated in the Series B round and increased their ownership position in the business. Mike Cannon-Brookes sees Brighte’s success to date as just the beginning of the story in the drive for mass adoption of clean energy.

”Brighte is a rare triple-win business: they’re helping consumers adopt renewable energies; they’re helping suppliers gain traction which is moving the whole industry forward; and building a fantastic Australian tech business at the same time,” Cannon-Brookes said.

The round brings two other high profile investors to Brighte’s share registry; Skip Capital and the Milgrom family.

“We recognised the exceptional capabilities Katherine brings to Brighte, and our investment reflects our desire to back phenomenal entrepreneurs who are creating real business impact,” said Kim

Jackson, principal and co-founder, Skip Capital. “Brighte has made exceptional progress in enabling residents easier access to solar, energy and home solutions.”

Kim brings a deep understanding of the energy sector and was previously a director on the boards of Transgrid and ElectraNet.

Naomi Milgrom, retail executive behind the Sussan Group, said “I’m excited to be supporting Katherine and the team at Brighte to increase access to affordable solar home energy solutions. We know we are on the right side of history with this investment, and have been impressed with the role Brighte can play to help reduce costs of living for many households by making domestic solar energy accessible.”