Press Release

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Spruce Finance Becomes First Home Energy Efficiency Finance Company with Full Product Suite on One Platform

Introduces Expanded PACE Offering for Energy Efficient Upgrades

 

SAN FRANCISCOSeptember 7, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Spruce Finance Inc., a provider of consumer financing for residential energy efficiency improvements, including solar systems, today announced several developments that position the company for long-term success. In October, the company will release a new version of its software platform to allow Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing for all eligible residential energy efficient installations. The company recently closed a new tax equity financing facility which gives its contractor partners continued access to competitively-priced leases and power purchase agreements (PPAs) for residential solar systems.  The company also appointed credit and risk management expert Rob Kottmeier as its chief credit officer.

“These moves will help Spruce better serve our contractor partners in the energy efficiency industry,” said Steve Olszewski, CEO of Spruce. “With the expansion of PACE in our product offering and enhanced credit management expertise, we’re excited to bring a one-stop-shop solution to our contractor partners and expand homeowners’ access to financing for energy efficient upgrades.”

Industry-First Platform with Comprehensive Product Suite

Spruce offers the broadest set of financing options for homeowners on a single platform. Providing homeowners with access to the financing that best fits their needs through a “one-stop” application process that enables contractors to close more deals.

Spruce will expand PACE financing options on its SpruceFlow platform to include all energy efficiency home improvements in participating California municipalities in October. PACE allows homeowners to make renewable energy, energy efficiency, water conservation and seismic upgrades to their homes with no upfront costs and to pay for them at a fixed interest rate over time through an additional line item on their property taxes. PACE financing payments may have tax benefits, and many property owners who use PACE see immediate savings on their utility bills.

New Tax Equity Facility

The company recently closed on a tax equity financing facility to support continued growth in Spruce’s residential solar PPA and lease business.

In 2016, Spruce partnered with US Bank on tax equity to finance approximately $175 million in residential PPAs and leases and raised $245 million in project debt financing from Investec and Silicon Valley Bank to support residential solar systems.  This transaction with a new partner helps to diversify the company’s funding profile.

Appointment of Chief Credit Officer

Spruce has appointed credit veteran Rob Kottmeier as chief credit officer to join Spruce’s executive team. With more than 20 years of experience in credit and risk management, Kottmeier will bring his expertise to ensure the continued quality of Spruce originations.

Prior to joining Spruce, Kottmeier served as chief credit officer at Breakout Capital, a small business lender, where he developed and implemented its initial credit policy and models. Previously, he was chief credit officer at GreenSky, where he developed credit policy, pricing and portfolio management strategies to enable significant growth in the company’s loan portfolio. Kottmeier spent more than 16 years at Capital One’s U.S. Credit Card business, where he served a variety of roles, with concentrations in credit risk management, fraud and exposure management, new customer acquisition, product valuation and underwriting across consumer and small business card products.

The hiring of Kottmeier comes on the heels of recently announced additions to Spruce’s leadership team and an infusion of capital, as well as the appointment of two independent directors.

About Spruce Finance

Spruce Finance provides homeowners with multiple ways to finance residential energy efficiency improvements and solar systems. This helps people reduce their utility bills and improve their homes and communities. We make our finance products available on a single software platform and sell them through a national network of verified channel partners. Our platform simplifies the sales experience for our channel partners and helps them sustainably grow their businesses. A private company headquartered in San Francisco, we operate in all 50 states and Washington, DC. We have raised more than $2B in project finance and currently serve nearly 70,000 homeowners. To learn more about the company, visit www.sprucefinance.com.

Media Contact
Megan Gregorio
Spruce@methodcommunications.com
415-849-1310

Announces $25 Million in Funding from HPS Investment Partners, LLC

 

SAN FRANCISCO, June 29, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Spruce Finance Inc., a provider of consumer financing for residential energy efficiency and solar technology, today announced new leadership and an infusion of capital, as well as the appointment of two independent directors.

Steve Olszewski, who previously served as chief operating officer, has been promoted to CEO, and Adam Buckfelder, who previously served as VP of finance, has been named CFO. Olszewski and Buckfelder both held senior positions at Clean Power Finance, which merged with Kilowatt Financial to form Spruce Finance in 2015. Previously, Olszewski led the private student loan business at Discover Financial Services, where he oversaw the largest portfolio acquisition in Discover’s history and managed the six-fold growth in Discover’s deposits business. Prior to Discover, Olszewski led underwriting and servicing operations for GMAC’s auto insurance business and held operations strategy roles at Capital One. Before his senior finance and operations roles at Clean Power Finance, Buckfelder was an investment banker at Barclays Capital, where he focused on the power and utilities sector.

“Spruce Finance’s commitment to providing homeowners with multiple ways to finance residential energy efficiency improvements and solar systems helps people reduce their utility bills and improve their homes and communities,” said Olszewski. “I’m honored and excited to lead Spruce Finance into its next chapter, with a renewed focus on simplifying the sales experience for our channel partners and helping them sustainably grow their businesses.”

The company also named two independent directors, Christian Fong and Howard Norowitz. Fong is an experienced executive and consultant to real asset and energy companies. He serves on the Board of Directors of TerraForm Power and was a founder of Renewable Energy Trust Capital, Inc. Norowitz is a founder and former partner at Stone Lion Capital Partners. He has a long track record of successfully investing in and managing highly levered and operational turnaround situations at Stone Lion, Bear Stearns, and GE Capital.

“Steve and Adam have demonstrated they have the right combination of industry experience and vision to lead Spruce Finance into the next phase, as well as the support of our sales channels and capital markets partners,” said Fong. “We’re excited to welcome them to their new roles as CEO and CFO,” added Norowitz. “With today’s announcements and Steve and Adam at the helm, Spruce Finance is positioned to build on the significant strides made thus far in 2017. We look forward to the company’s continued expansion.”

The company also announced $25 million in strategic funding from HPS Investment Partners, LLC (formerly Highbridge Principal Strategies, LLC), a leading global investment firm with over $40 billion of assets under management. “We are thrilled to announce this strategic partnership,” said Olszewski. “It is indicative of HPS’s confidence in Spruce Finance and in our mission to make energy efficiency financing and residential solar systems widely available to U.S. homeowners.”

Spruce recently announced that it has completed its second major sale of loan assets, a whole loan sale of US$250 million of its efficiency and solar loan portfolio to a North American bank with an expertise in consumer loan assets.

About Spruce FinanceTM
Spruce Finance provides homeowners with multiple ways to finance residential energy efficiency improvements and solar systems. This helps people reduce their utility bills and improve their homes and communities. We make our finance products available on a single software platform and sell them through a national network of verified channel partners. Our platform simplifies the sales experience for our channel partners and helps them sustainably grow their businesses. A private company headquartered in San Francisco, we operate in all 50 states and Washington, DC. We have raised more than $2B in project finance and currently serve nearly 70,000 homeowners. To learn more about the company, visit www.sprucefinance.com.

Contact Spruce@methodcommunications.com

SAN FRANCISCO – June 21, 2017 Spruce Finance, a provider of consumer financing for residential energy efficiency and solar technology, has completed a whole loan sale of $250M of its efficiency and solar loan portfolio to a large North American bank with expertise in consumer loan assets. This marks the second major sale of loan assets for the company.

“We’re pleased about institutional investors’ growing confidence in the lending market for renewable and energy efficient home technologies. These loans, with terms of 7 to 20 years, allow for financing that better matches the useful life of the asset, creating much better value for the consumer. The capital unlocked from this transaction, combined with incremental capital recently provided by a global investment firm, will support the future growth of our business,” said Steve Olszewski, Spruce’s chief operating officer.

The company expects the sale to serve as a foundation for future loan flow sales transactions.

About Spruce™

Spruce provides homeowners with multiple ways to finance residential energy efficiency improvements and solar systems. This helps people reduce their utility bills and improve their homes and communities. We make our finance products available on a single software platform and sell them through a national network of verified channel partners. Our platform simplifies the sales experience for our channel partners and helps them sustainably grow their businesses. A private company headquartered in San Francisco, we operate in all 50 states and Washington, DC. We have raised more than $2B in project finance and currently serve nearly 70,000 homeowners. To learn more about the company, visit www.sprucefinance.com.

Contact:
Iris Chan

Director of Marketing, Spruce

ichan@sprucefinance.com

SAN FRANCISCO – January 19, 2017 Spruce Finance, a provider of consumer financing for residential solar and energy efficiency improvements, has raised tax equity and project debt transactions to support $445MM in residential solar power purchase agreements (PPA) and leases in 2017.

“Spruce’s proven record of growth, strong risk management and reliable returns has allowed us to raise capital from a variety of sources at attractive terms,” said Sean Coletta, Managing Director for Renewable Capital Markets at Spruce.

In December 2016, Spruce closed a new tax equity facility with Citi that will support the purchase and installation of more than $200MM of new solar lease and PPA projects in 2017.

“Citi is proud to support Spruce Finance and its mission to make residential solar systems available to more U.S. homeowners,” said Marshal Salant, Global Head of Alternative Energy Finance at Citi. “We look forward to continuing to help Spruce expand access to residential solar and energy efficiency financing.”

Spruce also closed a $105.4MM back leverage facility against existing projects, led by Investec and Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and increased an existing back leverage facility to $140MM from $120MM. Bank United committed the additional capital.

“BankUnited is grateful for the opportunity to work with Spruce and help provide the funding it sought to grow its residential solar business,” said Justin Allbright, Vice President at BankUnited.

“Spruce will continue to raise project capital in 2017 as we grow both our residential solar and energy efficiency businesses,” said Darren Thompson, Spruce’s chief financial officer.

 

About Spruce™

Spruce provides homeowners with multiple ways to finance residential solar systems and energy efficiency improvements. This helps people reduce their utility bills and improve their homes and communities. We make our finance products available on a single software platform and sell them through a national network of verified channel partners. Our platform simplifies the sales experience for our channel partners and helps them sustainably grow their businesses. A private company headquartered in San Francisco, we operate in all 50 states and Washington, DC. We have raised more than $2B in project finance and currently serve nearly 70,000 homeowners. To learn more about the company, visit www.sprucefinance.com.

Multiple finance products on single platform help U.S. solar companies sell more, faster

 

Solar Power International, Las Vegas – September 12, 2016 Spruce Finance Inc. (“Spruce”) is making residential solar finance sales easier than ever by adding a new solar loan to its existing power purchase agreement (PPA) and lease product suite. (The term “loan” includes both traditional loans and retail installment contracts, or RICs, which are available in different geographies.) The loan and PPA are available on Spruce’s new platform, SpruceFlow™, which uniquely allows solar companies to offer homeowners multiple products from a single finance provider, on a single platform, with a single credit check.

“Sales reps need to have the right product for the right customer, and they need a sales process that’s fast and easy-to-understand,” said Nat Kreamer, CEO of Spruce. “Offering homeowners both a loan and a PPA at the point of sale with a single credit check helps our partners reduce their acquisition costs and close more deals.”

Spruce’s solar loan is both simple and flexible. It is available for a variety of homes, including townhomes, condos and duplexes, as well as for ground mounts. Sales reps can highlight either lifetime or immediate savings; tailor the product to homeowner preferences with a variety of tenor, APR and payment terms; and close the sale quickly with instant credit and e-signature options. The loan will be available in 25 states in October.

“Our position as financier allows us to control the terms of our products and make them attractive to both solar companies and homeowners,” said Kreamer. “Spruce is a licensed consumer lender in 50 states and Washington, DC: that and our consistent access to low-cost capital makes us an ideal finance partner for solar companies across the U.S.”

The SpruceFlow platform makes the sales process more efficient and improves salesforce productivity. Sales reps can prescreen prospects before the sale to improve conversion rates. In addition to qualifying homeowners for multiple products with a single credit check, sales reps can also toggle between products at the point of sale, allowing homeowners to compare their options. The platform intuitively guides the process, and is optimized for mobile and tablet during in-home sales.

 

About Spruce

Spruce™ is a technology-enabled provider of consumer financing for residential solar and home efficiency improvements. Its mission is to empower people to improve their environments. The company’s national network of verified channel and contractor partners offer homeowners Spruce financing for technologies that can help them reduce their total utility spend on power, water, and heating and cooling. A private company headquartered in San Francisco, Spruce has raised more than $2B and serves more than 50,000 homeowners in all 50 states and Washington, DC. To learn more about the company, visit www.sprucefinance.com.

 

 

Achieves Investment-Grade Rating for Both Class A and B Notes

San Francisco – June 22, 2016 – Spruce Finance Inc. (“Spruce”), a technology-enabled provider of consumer financing for residential solar and home efficiency improvements, recently closed the largest securitization of unsecured residential energy efficiency loans and retail installment contracts in the U.S. In the transaction, Spruce placed two tranches totaling $83.78 million pursuant to Rule 144A. The Class A notes have a coupon of 4.32% and are expected to be repaid by 2022; the Class B notes have a coupon of 6.90% and are expected to be repaid by 2023.

The Class A notes received a rating of ‘A’ and the Class B Notes received a rating of ‘BBB’ from Kroll Bond Rating Agency Inc.

“Spruce is growing financing volume more than 50 percent across both its home efficiency and residential solar business lines,” said Spruce CEO Nat Kreamer. “This securitization is the start of our program that will routinely offer efficiency and solar asset-backed securities to qualified investors and support long-term access to capital.”

Spruce’s efficiency lending business was established in 1974 and has provided origination, underwriting and financing for efficiency loans for Fannie Mae and several U.S. electric utility companies. Spruce has a uniquely deep pool of proprietary consumer finance and repayment data that offers important insight into how these assets perform.

“We are proud to partner with Spruce Finance to significantly expand the market for asset-backed securities backed by consumer energy efficiency loans,” said Marshal Salant, global head of alternative energy finance at Citi. “This transaction clearly shows the growing interest among investors in this new asset class. We look forward to continuing our work with Spruce to make financing for residential energy efficiency improvements available to even more U.S. homeowners.”

Citi acted as sole structuring agent and sole bookrunner for the transaction (Spruce ABS Trust 2016-E1).

Spruce has raised more than $2 billion, including tax equity, debt, and corporate equity, from Fortune 100 corporations, power companies and major Wall Street banks. Spruce uses a proprietary technology platform to offer its national network of verified channel and contractor partners a comprehensive suite of residential solar and home efficiency finance products for consumers.

“Our ability to efficiently originate high-quality assets through our channel and our proprietary consumer data and analytics are key differentiators for Spruce,” said Kreamer.

About Spruce
Spruce™ empowers people to improve their environments. Our national network of verified channel and contractor partners offer homeowners Spruce financing for residential solar systems and home efficiency improvements that help them reduce their total utility spend on power, water, and heating and cooling. A private company headquartered in San Francisco, Spruce has raised more than $2B and serves more than 50,000 homeowners in all 50 states and Washington, DC. To learn more about the company, visit www.sprucefinance.com.

Consumer Finance and Fintech Veteran Brings Capital Market Expertise to Support Growth and Scale

San Francisco – June 21, 2016 – Spruce Finance Inc. (“Spruce”), a provider of consumer financing for residential solar and home efficiency improvements in the U.S., has hired Darren Thompson as chief financial officer. In this role, he is responsible for Spruce’s capital markets strategy, accounting, control and risk management, and corporate finance activities, and will report to CEO Nat Kreamer.

“Darren’s long experience at technology-enabled consumer finance companies is a perfect fit for Spruce,” said Kreamer. “His familiarity with the capital markets and expertise managing rapidly scaling organizations will be invaluable as we continue to profitably grow our business.”

Thompson brings more than 25 years of financial services industry experience to Spruce. He has held executive positions at consumer finance, financial technology, real estate and mortgage companies. Most recently, he served as CFO and executive vice president of strategy at B2R Finance, a technology-enabled lending platform. Previously, he was the CFO at RevolutionMoney, a fintech and payments company bought by American Express in 2010. Thompson also served as the senior vice president and head of Fannie Mae’s Credit Finance Business, where he had direct responsibility for the credit performance of the guarantee business (at the time, the largest portfolio of single asset risk in the world at $2 trillion), until 2005. Prior to Fannie, he was a managing director at Goldman Sachs and a principal at Morgan Stanley, where he raised over $30 billion in high yield and loan capital for more than 200 companies.

“I look forward to using my capital markets expertise to support an exciting growth-stage company,” said Thompson. “Spruce’s diverse products and businesses, unique channel model and careful underwriting and compliance standards position it to succeed in an expanding and important industry. My focus will be to build on Spruce’s impressive capital platform and help the company continue to diversify its capital relationships and sources of scalable, low-cost financing.”

In addition to his corporate experience, Thompson has served the White House Fellows Program as a regional judge, is a sought-after speaker on global capital markets and entrepreneurial management, and has guest lectured at The Johnson School of Business at Cornell University, and George Washington University’s graduate economics program. He serves on the board for three public mutual funds for Avenue Capital and as a Trustee for the Sidwell Friends School in Washington, DC. Thompson holds a BS with honors in biochemistry from Harvard and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

About Spruce
Spruce™ empowers people to improve their environments. Our national network of verified channel and contractor partners offer homeowners Spruce financing for residential solar systems and home efficiency improvements that help them reduce their total utility spend on power, water, and heating and cooling. A private company headquartered in San Francisco, Spruce has raised more than $2BN to date and served more than 50,000 homeowners in all 50 states and Washington, DC. To learn more about the company, visit www.sprucefinance.com.

First Syndicated Back-Leveraged Facility Demonstrates Market Interest in Spruce’s Business and Growth

San Francisco – May 24, 2016 – Spruce Finance Inc. (“Spruce”), a provider of consumer financing for residential solar and home efficiency improvements in the U.S., has closed a $120MM syndicated credit facility that will support the growth of its solar lease and power purchase agreement (PPA) business. The facility, arranged by Investec, is Spruce’s first syndicated back-leveraged facility.

“Our residential solar lease and PPA, solar lending, and efficiency lending businesses are growing more than 50 percent so far this year, compared to 20-30 percent average growth in the residential solar industry,” said Nat Kreamer, CEO of Spruce. “The capital markets have responded positively to that growth, and we expect to raise more financing for our solar and efficiency businesses from a variety of sources this year.”

“Spruce is building a sustainable business that brings value to all stakeholders,” said Dan Oros, partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) and member of Spruce’s board of directors. “The Investec raise allows Spruce to grow alongside its channel partners.”

 

Solar Technology & Consumer Finance Veterans Will Drive Volume and Scale

San Francisco – March 9, 2016 – Spruce Finance Inc. (“Spruce”), a provider of consumer financing for residential solar, energy efficiency and water conservation upgrades in the U.S., is expanding its executive team. Spruce was founded in December 2015 when Clean Power Finance and Kilowatt Financial merged. The new executive team members will build on the transition team’s work to scale Spruce’s products, services and technology.

Jeff Loebbaka, formerly senior vice president of global sales, marketing and service at Enphase Energy, joins Spruce as its chief commercial officer. While at Enphase, Jeff increased annual revenues from $20 million to $345 million and boosted the company’s residential and small commercial market share from 15 to 45 percent. Prior to Enphase, Jeff was a senior vice president at Seagate Technologies and held senior marketing and sales roles at Brunswick, Zenith Data Systems and Apple.

“We’re delighted to welcome Jeff to the Spruce team,” said Spruce CEO Nat Kreamer. “Over the last few months, we’ve strengthened our technology platform and developed a broader array of finance products and channel services for homeowners and partners. Jeff’s experience successfully marketing solar and technology at global companies is invaluable as we expand our residential solar and efficiency financing businesses nationwide.”

Steve Olszewski, currently senior vice president of operations at Spruce, will take over from Matt Melius as chief operating officer. Steve was previously a senior vice president at Discover Financial Services, where he oversaw the largest portfolio acquisition in Discover’s history and managed the six-fold growth of the deposits business, which became Discover’s largest funding source. Prior to that, Steve led underwriting operations for GMAC’s auto insurance business.

“Matt Melius was instrumental in the successful merger of Clean Power Finance and Kilowatt Financial, and helped Spruce emerge as a single, unified organization in our crucial first few months,” said Kreamer. “Steve will build on Matt’s work to scale Spruce’s business and streamline our operations. His deep operational experience will help us improve speed and efficiency while maintaining our risk management discipline.”

About Spruce
Spruce empowers people to improve their environments. We provide homeowners with simple, affordable financing for residential solar systems, water conservation upgrades and energy efficiency home improvements. Working with a national network of channel and contractor partners in 50 states, we help homeowners reduce their total utility spend on power, water, and heating and cooling. To learn more about the company, visit www.sprucefinance.com.

Media Contact:
Alison Mickey
amickey@sprucefinance.com
415-963-4319

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