Solar for All: New Orleans based Posigen, Inc expects continued growth in 2018

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-01-18/one-solar-installer-targets-low-income-homes-ignored-by-rivals

From BLOOMBERG

A Solar Firm That Targets Low-Income Homes Its Rivals Won’t

  • PosiGen expects surge in rooftop installations this year
  • No credit checks for customers and default rate below 0.4%

“A Louisiana rooftop solar company is betting on a segment of the U.S. that its rivals have largely ignored: low-income households.

PosiGen LLC won 80 percent of Louisiana’s rooftop solar market and helped rebuild blighted parts of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Its strategy: Target the low-income neighborhoods that other installers avoided. The firm spread to Connecticut three years ago and is now expanding in Minnesota and New Jersey. Chief Executive Officer Thomas Neyhart expects to add as many as 3,000 homes this year.

 

Larger rivals including Sunrun Inc., Vivint Solar Inc. and Tesla Inc. used no-money down solar leasing to popularize rooftop power systems, but focused on consumers with high credit scores who generally had relatively higher income. PosiGen is aiming at the rest of the market.

“We want the people on disability, the people living paycheck to paycheck,” Neyhart said in an interview at Bloomberg Headquarters in New York. “They’re the ones who can benefit the most from $50 off their monthly utility bill.”

That strategy comes with a disadvantage: raising financing is sometimes a challenge because some banks and Wall Street are leery about PosiGen’s revenue, which depends on monthly payments from low-income customers. Neyhart counters that he’s had just 47 defaults out of almost 13,000 homes. That’s less than 0.4 percent and compares favorably with better-known installers that target the high end of the market.

Neyhart has shifted focus to seeking funding from private equity, family offices and other investors with an interest in solar energy or community development. He recently lost a $100 million tax-equity financing after the tax reform law reshaped the landscape.

Credit Checks

While the major installers’ customers typically have average FICO scores above 700, PosiGen doesn’t check credit scores of prospective customers. That leaves a large target market, just for them.

“Solar companies prioritize the most worthy at the expense of serving the broader market,” said Hugh Bromley, a solar analyst at New Energy Finance. “By not doing credit checks, they’re working without competition.”

In Connecticut, PosiGen worked with the state’s Green Bank to start a “Solar For All” program to reach low-income households in Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven and New London. PosiGen has installed more than 1,300 systems under the incentive program, about 30 percent of the state’s rooftop power market, said Kerry O’Neill, vice president of residential programs at the bank, said in an interview.

“PosiGen was the only game in town for years,” she said in an interview. “It’s been a very comfortable fit.” Other developers including Sunrun have recently begun offering solar power in Connecticut to low-income homeowners through the program.

Standard System

PosiGen is expanding lease offerings even as the customers of larger rivals Tesla Inc. and Sunrun Inc. are choosing to borrow money over leases.

Part of PosiGen’s strategy is controlling costs with a standardized, 6.2-kilowatt installation, a flat universal fee of $79.99 a month and a simple contract that’s easy for customers to digest. Employees also meet with church groups and neighborhood organizations to identify potential customers. A few months after an installation is complete, the company offers to help organize a “Power Party,” where new customers can talk up their rooftop systems, and the savings on their utility bills, to neighbors.

That’s helped PosiGen develop an industry-leading referral program — 40 percent of all sales — and one of the lowest customer-acquisition costs in the U.S., according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

After Minnesota and New Jersey, Neyhart is considering expanding into two additional states.

“Cash is the only thing that’s holding us back,” he said.

 “

Blockchain investment Symbiont signs partnership with Vanguard

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/vanguard-using-blockchain-technology-to-improve-index-data-distribution-663641913.html

VALLEY FORGE, Pa.Dec. 12, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Vanguard, in close collaboration with the Center for Research in Security Prices (CRSP®) and technology provider Symbiont, is leading an effort to simplify the index data sharing process through innovative blockchain technology. This partnership between the three organizations will enable index data to move instantly between index providers and market participants over one decentralized database.

“Using this platform, investment managers will be able to instantly distribute, receive, and process index data, resulting in better benchmark tracking and significant cost savings that potentially results in better returns for our clients,” said Warren Pennington, a principal in Vanguard’s Investment Management Group.

Over the last several months, CRSP has distributed daily index data to Vanguard in a testing environment through Symbiont’s blockchain platform. Delivering the data via a blockchain and automating workflows with smart contracts has served to expedite data delivery, eliminate the need for manual updates, and reduce risks.

“Secure, timely, and reliable controlled distribution of highly sensitive and time-critical information is essential to the continued evolution of the investment and financial services environment. CRSP is dedicated to facilitating the healthy evolution of this marketplace through our data and projects like this,” said David Barclay, COO of CRSP.

Currently, index data transmission, which is essential to many operations within the financial services industry, including portfolio construction and strategy execution, relies on multiple parties and distribution channels to reach investment professionals.

“Through this collaboration we were able to show how Symbiont’s blockchain technology and smart contracts can enhance market data distribution among disparate parties,” said Mark Smith, CEO and co-founder of Symbiont. “We’re pleased both Vanguard and CRSP were open to exploring new ways to use our platform to make capital markets cheaper, faster, and more accurate for investors.”

The success of this initial pilot will enable automation of CRSP index data delivery and intra-day updates over the private blockchain network in early 2018. Vanguard, Symbiont, and CRSP will also use the results of this initiative to influence future blockchain efforts.

About Vanguard
Vanguard is one of the world’s largest investment management companies. As of October 31, 2017, Vanguard managed $4.8 trillion in global assets. The firm, headquartered in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, offers more than 376 funds to its more than 20 million investors worldwide. For more information, visit vanguard.com.

About CRSP
The Center for Research in Security Prices, at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, has been an integral part of the academic and commercial world of financial and economic research since 1960. CRSP’s portfolio of historical databases for common stocks, mutual funds, US Treasuries, REITs, and research indexes is relied on by almost 600 leading academic and commercial institutions in 35 countries. CRSP’s investable capitalization-based, industry sector, and value/growth style indexes are a logical extension of these core products. These indexes blend advancements in academic research with industry practice in a fundamentally sound manner under the premise that an index must reflect the way that money managers actually invest. For more information, please visit www.crsp.com.

About Symbiont
Symbiont is the market-leading smart contracts platform for institutional applications of blockchain technology. Disclosed users of its platform include nineteen financial institutions for Smart Loans™, arranged by Credit Suisse and executed via Synaps, its syndicated loans joint venture with Ipreo; the State of Delaware for Smart Records™; a major European insurance company for Smart Swaps™ in the catastrophe insurance market; Orebits, a provider of asset digitization services; PrivateMarket.io, an alternative assets platform; and Medici Ventures, a blockchain-focused venture firm. For more information, visit symbiont.io.

Notes:

  • All Vanguard data as of October 31, 2017, unless otherwise noted.

2017 The Vanguard Group, Inc. All rights reserved. Vanguard Marketing Corporation, Distributor.

SOURCE Vanguard

Related Links

http://www.vanguard.com

Vanguard Taps Blockchain for Indices Data

Pelican Waste is the new official waste provider of the LSU Tigers

Founded in 2014, Callais company Pelican Waste and Debris serves over 140,000 residential customers and thousands of companies with over 130 staff members in the Gulf South. Pelican Waste is headquartered in Houma, LA with offices across Louisiana and Mississippi and provides commercial, residential, and recycling hauling services. Board members include Corey Callais, Nicholas Callais, Harold Callais, Christian Lapeyre, and Roddie Matherne.

Pelicanwaste.net

3D Scan-to-3D Print App Scandy Secures $1 Million in Seed Round

Scandy, the leader in 3D scan-to-3D print from mobile devices announced today that it raised a $1mm seed round to develop their application for the upcoming launch of the first phones equipped with embedded depth sensors and the Google Project Tango software. Callais Capital led the round along with angel investors from Louisiana, Texas and Maryland.

“We are delighted to have Callais Capital as an investor. They are committed to helping us take an early lead in the nascent mobile 3D scanning industry. We welcome Hal Callais to our Board,” said Charles Carriere, CEO and co-founder of Scandy.

“Scandy has an opportunity to define how users capture and consume 3D content. We are excited to be part of this tremendous growth opportunity,“ said Hal Callais, Managing Director and CIO of Callais Capital Management. “By allowing a user to create 3D content, share it on social media, and order 3D prints from the same application, Scandy has made 3D easy for the average consumer.”

Scandy recently launched its Scandy Sphere app which allows users to create 360-degree panoramas and order full-color 3D printed Scandy Spheres. The app is in the App Store for iOS and the Android app will be in the Google Play store by the end of April.

Scandy will be launching its Scandy Project Tango app in the fall, which will allow users to create, edit, and share 3D scans from phones equipped with depth sensors, and order full-color 3D prints of the scans.

Scandy is currently in discussions with sensor companies, phone manufacturers, and potential software and content partners. Want to get involved? Email founders@scandy.co.

“We are excited about the future of Scandy,” adds Carriere. “We are ready for the next generation of mobile devices and have our sights set on easy integration into the virtual reality space.”

Do you have 360-degree content you want to feature on Scandy? Are you interested in using a Scandy Sphere to promote your venue, music festival, or resort? Contact Scandy atpro@scandy.co.

About Scandy

Located in New Orleans, LA, Scandy creates software to allow users to capture, share, and print 3D content from mobile devices. For more information, please visit our website atscandy.co.

About Callais Capital

Callais Capital is a family office and independent investment manager based in Southern Louisiana. The firm serves as advisor to a diverse asset strategy mix comprised of fixed income, venture capital, private equity, and real estate project financing.

 

Source: http://blog.scandy.co/post/143063596606/3d-scan-to-3d-print-app-scandy-secures-1-million

Westpark Office Building in Algiers, once FEMA’s base, sells to local owners

The Algiers office building where FEMA set up shop after Hurricane Katrina is in the hands of new owners.  Westpark Office Building, just off General DeGaulle Drive, is now in the hands of local owners. Thomas Guinan Jr. and Harold Callais II bought the property from Hertz Investment Group. Parish records show the sale closed last week for an undisclosed amount.  The six-story, 109,000-square-foot office building was built in 1983 as the cornerstone of Westpark Office Park. Judah Hertz, a Los Angeles real estate investor, purchased the property in 2005 for $7 million. His company scheduled an auction for Westpark in March, setting the minimum bid at $4.9 million, but it failed to attract interested buyers.   Read more.

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune 8/19/15 

Investing in the Future

“Investing in the Future,” Thibodaux Chamber of Commerce Magazine article (May 28, 2015) by Ben Jones Jr.

“I am excited to be building my own future,” says Harold Callais, Managing Director and Chief Investment Officer for Callais Capital Management, LLC.

Read More

Pelican Waste and Debris Happy To Be Up and Running

“Local businessman Roddie Matherne believes that he has a dream team in place within the world of waste and debris pick up. Within the structure of that team, Pelican Waste and Debris was born. Combined with other co-owners Christian D. Lapeyre and Corey Callais, the trio recently created the local business, which specializes in industrial and commercial waste and debris pickup.”

Read More