Solar energy retailer DC Power Co has crowd-funded $2.5 million from 17,518 investors — claiming the largest number of participants in a crowd-funding capital raising to date.

DC Power Co bills itself as “Australia’s first solar-focused energy retailer” offering to optimise household solar systems to use less energy and earn more money.

The equity crowd-funding program — which closed yesterday and was managed by OnMarket — took bids of $50 to $10,000.

On the first day of the offer more than 3500 pledged support. The amount raised beat $1.75 million target by 39 per cent.

The result is a coup for Australia’s nascent equity crowdfunding industry. It’s just the third equity crowdfunding completed in 2018 since last year’s law change.

It follows the success of caffeine energy strip maker Revvies — which raised $300,000 from 270 investors and digital bank Xinja which raised $2.4 million from 1222 investors.

The previous record for the biggest number of participants in an equity crowdfunding event was UK equity crowdfunding platform Crowdcube which raised 6.5 million pounds ($11 million) from 3000 investors in 2014. (Some 1.2 million pounds of that was pledged within just 16 minutes.)

Car parking service JustPark raised $3.7 million pounds ($6.7 million) the following year from 2702 investors. Swedish gaming site Paradox Interactive took the biggest haul with $15.2 million from 2517 investors. 

The DC deal

DC Power Co is aiming to offer 1.7 million Australian solar households a service to optimise their solar systems to use less energy and earn more money.

The number of solar households is expected to grow to 6 million by 2050.

Customers are charged a monthly fee for connection to a grid, providing access to wholesale prices for energy top-ups and an ability to sell excess energy.

The company was founded last year and expects to build and launch of the platform by early 2019.

DC Power Co is in the process of raising a further $10 million through private investment.

The federal government’s renewable energy agency has provided $750,000 in funding. Venture Advisory is a founding investor and is co-ordinating the private capital raising.

“Inviting customers to be part-owners of their energy company is a unique proposition,” said founder and chief Nic Gilley.

“Not only do you get a personalised solar service, potentially saving you hundreds of dollars each year on energy costs, you also get a share of the profits, which we think will be considerable given our potential for rapid growth,”

“We see renewable energy as the way of the future, both as a business model and as an environmentally-responsive solution to current outdated energy business models.”