Employee-owned Namaste Solar raises USD 3.1m of outside capital
Solar panels. Author: Chris Baird. License: Creative Commons. Attribution 2.0 Generic
Namaste Solar has raised more than USD 3.1 million (EUR 2.8m) from an unconventional stock offering, the Colorado-based solar installer said last week.
The offering is unconventional because Namaste is an employee-owned cooperative and offers external investors a class of non-voting preferred stock with a target dividend of 6.5% per year, which is non-cumulative and non-guaranteed.
The offering, which officially closed at the end of 2016, raised the sum from over 91 investors. The company will use the financing mainly for working capital, the national expansion of its commercial and utility-scale solar energy division and new initiatives such as a clean energy credit union.
This is Namaste's second private offering. The first raised almost USD 750,000 in 2012.
Co-founder Blake Jones shared that as an employee-owned cooperative, the company had always thought it would not be able to raise outside capital. "We were concerned that we couldn’t find values-aligned investors who wanted to support our cooperative model, but we’ve since learned that this isn’t the case," Jones added. According to him the company's two offerings show that there is "a tremendous opportunity to make positive impacts on our economy, society, and environment while still working within the framework of capitalism."