Regardless of document development within the photo voltaic trade final 12 months, software program startup Aurora Photo voltaic has laid off 20% of its employees of about 1,000 folks, TechCrunch has completely discovered.
The corporate, which supplies software program to assist photo voltaic installers handle their gross sales, mission design, and set up course of, has missed its development targets for the previous 12 months, a supply mentioned. Monday’s layoffs comply with a smaller layoff of round 20 folks in November, they added.
Aurora Photo voltaic final raised $200 million in a Sequence D spherical that closed in February 2022, lower than 9 months after elevating a $250 million Series C. In complete, the corporate has raised $523 million, based on PitchBook.
The corporate didn’t reply to a request for remark.
It’s potential that Aurora Photo voltaic hit stiffer headwinds than anticipated in California, the place adjustments in web metering led to owners getting paid about 75% less for energy bought again to utilities. Whereas that hasn’t cratered demand for photo voltaic amongst single-family owners, it’s potential the brand new laws knocked it off its earlier trajectory.
The web metering adjustments generated a surge of curiosity final 12 months, according to Aurora Photo voltaic’s knowledge, probably from owners hoping to get in earlier than the brand new guidelines took impact.
With web metering charges slashed, the state has determined to supply richer incentives for photo voltaic installations that embody batteries. However many door-to-door gross sales representatives, particularly those that work independently, aren’t as nicely outfitted to promote batteries since they require way more particulars a couple of dwelling than photo voltaic alone.
To design and allow a battery system, gross sales reps should calculate the family’s every day power utilization, dimension up the house’s electrical panel, and work out the place to place the batteries. Photo voltaic, however, can usually be bought by satellite tv for pc photographs of a house’s roof and surrounding timber and buildings, from which software program can simply calculate how a lot energy a photo voltaic array can produce.
In consequence, smaller installers have been facing pressure below the brand new regime. Whereas Aurora Photo voltaic says its software program is utilized by 90% of the highest 100 photo voltaic installers, it additionally has over 7,000 clients, lots of which probably fall within the lengthy tail of the distribution, people who say they’re below essentially the most stress. In complete, the California photo voltaic trade was estimated to chop 17,000 jobs final 12 months.