Mike Cannon-Brookes leads $4m round in home energy fintech start-up Brighte

Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes has made his latest move in his ongoing effort to move the dial on Australia’s energy crisis, becoming the lead backer in a capital raising for home energy funding platform Brighte.

The company, which was founded by former Macquarie Group senior manager Katherine McConnell in 2015, provides on-the-spot finance online for home energy improvements such as solar panels and home batteries.

It promises to dramatically increase the number of homes installing renewable, clean energy equipment by taking away the often hefty upfront cost and making it easier and more affordable.

Brighte raised an initial seed round of $3.5 million from high net worth investors and family trusts, and Ms McConnell began talking about further investment with Mr Cannon-Brookes, through his investment company Grok Ventures last September.

The increasingly high profile tech billionaire said there was massive potential for growth in the residential energy market, and he believed Brighte was in the box seat to grow dramatically because of its long-term vision. He said his investments through Grok would increasingly reflect his belief in the importance of certain social issues, such as the growth in renewable energy.

“The environmental impact is extremely important [in my decision making]. We have a huge number of issues with the planet today and smart businesses are attacking them and building great businesses to do it. Anything at the nexus is interesting to me,” Mr Cannon-Brookes told The Australian Financial Review.

He provided the lion’s share of a $4 million second-round raising and has also invested in Brighte’s debt issuance, which includes tranches of securitised loans.

Ms McConnell said Brighte began providing finance to homeowners last October, and had been growing consumer loans at a rate of 49 per cent month-on-month in its first 10 months of operation.

She is targeting $100 million in annual sales within the next two years and needed to bring on extra funds to increase the scale of the company’s operations and its technology’s functionality.


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Source: Mike Cannon-Brookes leads $4m round in home energy fintech start-up Brighte | afr.com