Last year, solar stocks performed dismally, but this year investing in the right solar companies has paid off handsomely, especially for those who opted in early. Two exchange traded funds that hold solar stocks, Market Vectors Solar Energy and Guggenheim Solar ETF, have more than doubled in value from a year ago. Companies like FirstSolar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR) and SunPower Corporation (Nasdaq: SPWR) have led that growth.
Such resurgent investor interest helps explain how Geostellar, a four-year-old solar tech startup based in Martinsburg, W.V., has been doing so well with its crowd funding at the website Return on Change.
Geostellar, which helps homeowners browse their best options for solar energy installation and financing, launched an online crowdfunding campaign and two weeks in has already raised $635,000, more than half its goal to raise $1 million in 90 days.
“Until recently, only professional, well-connected investors could participate in the financing of promising ventures,” David Levine, CEO of Geostellar, said Tuesday in a statement. “With this offering, we’re setting a new standard for the availability, transparency and accountability of private companies in the sale of tax-advantaged securities.”
The Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act, signed into law by President Obama in 2012, democratized access to capital by allowing entrepreneurs to advertise that they’re raising money and sell equity to accredited investors from the general public. Before the JOBS Act, startups raised capital under 80-year-old laws from only the wealthiest investors.