SANTA ROSA, Calif. – August 13, 2014 - Ygrene Energy Fund, a leading national provider of residential and commercial property assessed clean energy (PACE) financing, announced today it raised $30 million in growth capital from Virgo Investment Group. Ygrene will use the funds to grow its channel contractor network, further expand its national footprint, and accelerate market awareness for PACE financing. The company appointed Mike Cary, former President of CIT Home Lending, as COO to immediately execute on its growth initiatives. Ygrene partners with local governments to provide PACE financing to property owners to make energy upgrades to their homes or buildings. Ygrene’s 100% financing allows owners to finance improvements at lower monthly costs and with many tax advantages not available through traditional financing options.
“The Virgo investment demonstrates the power of our financing platform and confidence in Ygrene to further secure our leadership position in the rapidly growing PACE financing industry,” said Stacey Lawson, Ygrene President and CEO. “PACE financing is gaining broader market adoption every day. Virgo’s capital will allow Ygrene to meet the increasing demand from contractors and property owners, scale our operations and expand our footprint into more cities and counties across California and Florida.”
“Ygrene is unique in that it has been successful with both residential and commercial PACE financings, and is the only company that has funded projects in multiple states,” said Virgo partner Mack McNair, who leads Virgo’s financial services investments. “Ygrene has a large addressable market opportunity and is filled with the talent and energy to expand origination the right way. We’re excited to join the board and leverage our ideas and network in the financial services sector to accelerate that growth plan.”
Mike Cary, a seasoned executive with 30 years of experience scaling companies with Citibank, First Nationwide Mortgage, and CIT Group, was brought on as COO, a newly created position, to immediately scale Ygrene’s operations.
“Mike Cary is a force,” Lawson said, adding “He took CIT from $200 million to $550 million in originations in 18 months. That and his 30 years of experience in the real estate, mortgage and finance industries signaled to me immediately that he’s the right person to rapidly expand Ygrene’s offerings.”
Cary will manage Ygrene’s marketing, origination, underwriting and funding operations and report directly to Lawson.
Ygrene financing is commonly used to fund commercial and residential property improvements including cool roofing and insulation, energy efficient windows, high-efficiency heating and cooling systems, solar photo-voltaic and hot water systems, and net-zero landscaping. The program offers financing with a minimum project size of $2,500 with no upper limit on project size.
Ygrene currently partners with 100+ cities and counties in California and Florida, and has funded tens of millions in residential and commercial property upgrades, including the $3.1M Metro Center renovation in Sacramento CA that was the nation’s largest PACE project at the time.
About Ygrene Energy Fund, Inc.
Ygrene Energy Fund is the leading developer and administrator of clean energy financing programs throughout the United States. Ygrene’s fully funded Clean Energy Programs provide privately funded and immediately accessible financing for renewable and energy efficiency upgrades to both commercial and residential property owners at no upfront costs. Over the next five years, Ygrene’s Clean Energy Districts are projected to create tens of thousands of local jobs and invest hundreds of millions into local economies. Learn more at ygrene.us.
About Virgo Investment Group LLC
Virgo is an opportunistic, value investor. Virgo invests in market dislocations and areas of corporate change targeting both less efficient market segments and identified themes (or “market seams”) in the firm’s core industries. A theme-based approach to idea generation coupled with proactive sourcing, a flexible mandate and creative transaction structuring skills, allows the firm to create differentiated opportunities and optimize risk-adjusted returns across market investment cycles. Virgo is an actively engaged investor that seeks to contribute ideas and human capital to the harvesting of value post-investment and has a successful history of partnering with founder entrepreneurs and family-owned companies to support their growth initiatives.
Founded in 2009, Virgo has invested over $588 million, completing 34 investments to date. Virgo has generated average annual net returns of 20% on realized investments from its inception through March 31, 2014.