Australian fintech and energytech Brighte has ended the year with a bang by bagging a huge funding of $100 million. The funding by the energy startup was led by the investment fund of Mike and Annie Cannon-Brookes, Grok Inventures by contributing $78 million in the round. Existing backers Singapore VC Qualgro, AirTree Ventures and Skip Capital also participated.
Katherine McConnell, Founder of Brighte says the funds will be devoted towards its energy technology development efforts while keeping a startup mindset.
Brighte – an Aussie energy startup
Brighte is a digital payments platform connecting Aussie homeowners with home improvement and solar businesses. It offers credit services enabling households to install energy products like solar batteries and solar panels through its platform. It was founded in the year 2015 and launched the following year. It has recently submitted its application for a retail energy license and is preparing itself to shift to a ‘gentailing model’. In this model, the business is the generator as well as retailer of energy.
Customers of Bright will own the energy assets and will pay back Brighte over time as the energy retailer. The basic idea is to offer a platform through which customers can control their energy management needs.
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More about energytech Brighte
At present, Brighte customers pay the company back for their solar panels and use solar energy for 50% of their energy. The other 50% is paid back by the customers to someone else entirely. This new platform is supposed to “solve customer problems and reduce friction”, McConnell explains, by providing a single interface for all their needs.
The funding comes in a year that has seen the Aussie buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) space gather momentum and hence, attract a lot of attention. Brighte was one of the fintechs scrutinised in the report of ASIC that looked into the Aussie BNPL industry.
While the company essentially provides a big-ticket BNPL service, Ms McConnell does not explicitly consider Brighte to be a BNPL player. She rather says BNPL is a part of what Brighte does. It is a digital credit marketplace and BNPL is just a part of the customer experience, she concludes.
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