Photo by Jeremy Bezanger on Unsplash

This startup is helping to drive the world toward a carbon-neutral future by putting solar panels on roofs everywhere.

In the first quarter of this year, solar power accounted for half of all new electricity-generating capacity in the US. That’s pretty remarkable. Residential and small commercial solar has gone from niche to mainstream, with consumers across the country enjoying the benefits of lower energy costs and an improved carbon footprint.

But long-term, the real growth opportunity for the industry is outside the US, in markets that have much different dynamics. Solfium, new startup in Canada, selling primarily in Mexico, has developed a unique technology platform that brings efficiencies to the whole solar energy installation process, making it particularly well-suited to developing countries.

A residential or commercial customer in Mexico can download Solfium app, input data on their current energy usage, and receive an instant quote on a solar installation. Using the app they can then schedule a technical visit, review financing options, schedule installation, and the monitor real-time usage of their new solar system after it is installed.

Conceptually, Solfium is combining aspects of Uber (push a button and a technician arrives), Amazon (the efficient logistics of delivering the right equipment to your doorstep), Thumbtack (connecting you with independent installers) and Nest (real-time monitoring of your system) all via one app. And they are already serving customers across Mexico.

The first wave of residential and small commercial solar has been in the US and Europe — relatively wealthy markets with advanced supply chains. But the next (much larger) wave will be in Mexico and other developing markets. Solfium is uniquely positioned to ride that wave and are scaling fast by partnering with corporates to decarbonize supply chains. They will be exciting to watch.

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Bret Waters

Bret Waters

Silicon Valley guy. I teach entrepreneurship at Stanford, run the 4thly Startup Accelerator, and coach startup CEO’s at Miller Center. Also, I love fish tacos.