Amidst a rapidly evolving landscape in sustainable energy solutions, Ivy Energy emerges as a leader—not just in innovation, but in social equity. Recently securing an $18M Series A funding round led by SolarEdge, a global leader in smart energy technology, with participation from notable investors including GreenSoil, AmFam Institute for Corporate and Social Impact, LegacyCV, Enki Investments, and Unit Leader, Ivy Energy sets a new standard for addressing the pressing issue of access to clean solar energy. By targeting multifamily buildings often overlooked in the renewable energy transition, Ivy Energy aims to unlock a massive solar energy market that to this day has remained largely untapped.

Ivy Energy streamlines solar benefits for property owners and residents. Their virtual grid software collects meter data and calculates savings for a community ledger. Through a unique load algorithm, Ivy ensures fair energy billing tailored to individual usage. This boosts property revenue and integrates with management systems, offering tenants affordable clean energy solutions. 

AmFam Institute first invested in Ivy Energy in 2022 in their seed round, when the company was working with their early pilot customers. This new infusion of capital marks a pivotal moment in Ivy Energy’s journey towards bridging equity gaps and making clean energy accessible to all. We asked John McIntyre, Managing Director of AmFam Institute, a few questions about our collaborative vision and the strategic implications of this investment.

What is the problem that Ivy Energy is addressing?

John McIntyre

JMc: Ivy Energy is tackling the challenge of providing access to clean solar energy, particularly in apartment buildings where it’s traditionally complex and costly to implement solar solutions. While solar panels are common on houses and some commercial buildings, they’re less prevalent in multi-family residences due to billing complexities and the challenge of serving multiple tenants. Ivy Energy uses software solutions to streamline this process, making solar energy more accessible and affordable for apartment dwellers. Additionally, they integrate storage and electric vehicle charging solutions into their offerings, addressing multiple needs in one comprehensive solution.

What specific qualities and strengths did AmFam Institute identify in Ivy Energy that led to the decision to invest in them?

JMc: At AmFam Institute, we seek out mission-driven entrepreneurs who are committed to making a positive impact. Ivy Energy stood out for their dedication to providing clean energy access to lower-income individuals living in apartment buildings. The team demonstrated a deep understanding of the problem and a genuine desire to bridge the gap between those who own homes and those who rent. Their innovative approach not only benefits property owners and managers but also empowers individual tenants by offering them visibility into their energy usage and savings.

What were you most excited about when you first met the company’s team?

JMc: The team at Ivy Energy, led by CEO Dover Janis and CCO Logan Carter, impressed us with their passion for addressing the challenges of clean energy access. While Dover is a first-time founder, his partner brings valuable experience in the business world, creating a complementary dynamic. We believe in supporting teams with diverse strengths and backgrounds, and Ivy Energy’s founders showed a clear understanding of the problem they were solving and how to execute their vision.

How does Ivy Energy align with AmFam Institute’s investment thesis?

JMc: Ivy Energy aligns perfectly with our goal of closing equity gaps in America by providing clean energy solutions to underserved communities. By offering accessible and affordable solar energy options for apartment dwellers, Ivy Energy contributes to a more equitable transition to clean energy. Their focus on empowering individuals regardless of income aligns with our mission to support ventures that make a positive social impact.

How does AmFam Institute perceive the market opportunity that Ivy Energy is addressing, and what factors make it a compelling investment in that particular space?

JMc: The market opportunity for Ivy Energy is significant, given the untapped potential in providing solar energy solutions to apartment buildings. While solar deployment is common in utility settings and single-family homes, it’s less prevalent in multi-family residences. Ivy Energy’s innovative approach opens up a vast market that has been largely overlooked, presenting opportunities for growth both domestically and internationally.

Were there any unique market insights, technological advancements, or other factors that differentiate Ivy Energy from others in the same sector and contributed to your decision to invest in them?

JMc: Ivy Energy’s unique value proposition lies in their ability to solve complex technical challenges associated with deploying solar energy in multi-family buildings. While other companies may have similar intentions, Ivy Energy has demonstrated a deep commitment to developing and bringing their product to market across the United States. Their focus, dedication, and innovative solutions make them a standout player in the clean energy sector.

Moving forward, in what ways does AmFam Institute envision supporting and collaborating with Ivy Energy beyond providing capital? Are there specific resources or expertise that AmFam Institute brings to the table?

JMc: Beyond providing capital investment, AmFam Institute actively supports Ivy Energy through strategic guidance, which includes my role on the board since 2022. With this new funding, Ivy has additional board members joining and I will continue as an observer. AmFam Institute has been involved in advising the company on budgeting, hiring plans, and strategic decisions, particularly during challenging market conditions. Additionally, Ivy has participated in our Founder Summit, which provided them with valuable networking opportunities and access to expertise in areas such as diversity, equity, and inclusion. Our ongoing collaboration aims to help Ivy Energy succeed in achieving its mission of providing clean energy access to all.

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