SolarCity is a company that was co-founded by family members Elon Musk, Peter Rive, and Lyndon Rive. The Rives are brothers and Elon Musk is their cousin. Aside from being SolarCity’s chairman, Musk is also known for serving as the CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX. Recently the company has hired Vivint Solar’s CEO Tanguy Serra as their EVP of Operations.
The change in Serra’s position has already been confirmed on his LinkedIn profile. Serra worked at Vivint Solar for about a year and his departure was announced on April 1st. Before Vivint Solar, he was a VP at private equity company TPG Capital.
While working at Vivint, Serra helped grow the company to 600 employees and almost 6,000 customers. The company also hit around 4.5 megawatts per month of total power generation, which made them the second largest solar company after SolarCity. As a comparison, SolarCity deployed around 157 megawatts in 2012, hit about 31,000 customers, and is expected to hit about 250 megawatts in 2013.
Vivint and SolarCity offers full solar services for homes, businesses, and the government including system design, installation, financing, and monitoring. The two companies grew rapidly due to a leasing model that they offered, which helps eliminate the need for upfront costs by homeowners. This also helps the companies generate recurring revenues. The government is also giving federal tax incentives a 30% credit against the cost of the system, which is driving sales.
Vivint Solar’s parent company Vivint was bought by Blackstone Group for $2 billion in September 2012. Vivint as a whole had 675,000 total customers in North America that buys their products including door locks, video surveillance, safety sensors, and solar business units.
SolarCity went public in December 2012 and raised $92 million at a $600 million valuation. SolarCity went public at a stock price of $8. Today they are trading at over $23.