SinglePoint’s Direct Solar Shaking Up Industry with Rocket Mortgage Model
July 19th, 2019
App, Exclusive, News, Top News
Realize it or not, we are in the midst of an energy transformation away from fossil fuels. Need evidence? Tesla recently shattered its record for electric cars delivered during a quarter. Ford is pumping $500 million into Tesla rival Rivian as the electric car industry heats up. Keeping promises made on the campaign trail, President Trump has been performing CPR on the coal industry since taking office, yet use of the dirty fuel is at a 41-year low.
Further, while financial institutions worldwide restrict investments in carbon-spewing fossil fuels, billionaire investors like Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson, Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Ma are following market trends towards clean energy to protect against climate change.
It’s a seismic trend shift that fully-reporting diversified holding company SinglePoint, Inc. (OTCQB: SING) intends to capitalize on as well. In May, the company made its largest acquisition ever, bringing solar-broker upstart Direct Solar of America into its portfolio. It hasn’t taken long for SinglePoint to see the rewards of the novel business model.
Why Residential Solar?
Direct Solar has only been around for about 1-1/2 years. The company was born out of the vision of its CEO, Pablo Diaz, when his real estate development company was asked to bid the solar portion of a golf facility complex. Noticing the steep growth curve opportunity, Diaz founded Direct Solar with the plan of re-shaping the traditional solar sales business model with a process that could get solar onto more houses than ever before.
Being well attuned to the contracting space, Diaz recognized the high expense to assemble the necessary infrastructure and the lengthy time to action to penetrate multiple markets, much less the entire U.S. with a new solar company. He also was wise enough to see that, while it was a commercial job that introduced him to the market, residential comprised less than 1.5 percent of the $187 billion solar market in 2018.
A little more due diligence revealed that the default rate on residential solar is less than 1 percent. Diaz attributes this to the fact that homeowners are conditioned to pay their electric bill every month without fail.
The solution to offering homeowners affordable alternative energy was for Direct Solar to become the first company to employ a Rocket Mortgage business model, serving as a broker between contractors, lenders and consumers.
The process is brilliantly simple. Leveraging all available subsidies from local to federal, a network of licensed solar contractors and a group of money lenders, Direct Solar provides homeowners an opportunity to take money typically spent monthly on an electric bill and divert it to a solar system. Subsequently, the homeowner realizes not only the benefit of reliable energy, but economic benefits also, such as improved home value and electricity that is cheaper than buying from a utility company.
Who Loves It?
Homeowners love Direct Solar because the company is a one-stop shop. Just like people go to Lending Club (NYSE: LC) to utilize the firm’s vast loan resources and technology to quickly vet lender’s varying covenants, Direct Solar saves people hours of wasted time and headache to find loan options.
The company is also versed in all the different solar subsidies for homeowners. For instance, the U.S. government offers a 30% tax credit for the whole installed cost of a system. On the state level, Illinois’ “Solar For All” program has made the state a veritable hotspot for the industry with lucrative subsidies to drive installations.
When consumers are educated that they can add a material asset to their home, save disposable income and do something good for the planet with the government paying perhaps for one-third or more of it, the option can be quite attractive.
Furthermore, consumers can enjoy Direct Solar curating the job for them. Not every contractor is perfect for every job. Rather than a homeowner meeting and trying to select from the contractors bag of goodies, Direct Solar makes sure that the contractor fits the customer’s complete needs.
Contractors love Direct Solar because they are bringing business from people actively looking to add solar to their home. To that point, Direct Solar is effectively a free advertiser and marketer bringing work to contractors. Customer acquisition is a financial burden for solar companies that often cannot be justified from either advertising or sales staff perspectives.
That translates immediately to the top and bottom lines for contractors.
In order to readily penetrate new markets across the country without making a physical appearance, Direct Solar has created proprietary online training software to educate partners on the complete process. The company is already operating in eight states, with the entire nation now accessible with the software.
SinglePoint has been relatively hush-hush about another asset of Direct Solar that came with the acquisition called AI Live. A few teasers have been dropped here and there about the technology that will utilize artificial intelligence for a brand new means of lead generation in the solar market. All Diaz had to say about that in a recorded conversation with SinglePoint President Wil Ralston was that they’re currently working the kinks out of the technology and that it will help generate an entire new segment of business once completed.
Always creative in marketing, Direct Solar recently struck a deal to become the exclusive marketing partner to support the various fall sports programs for 47 Texas Schools across Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, Austin and Waco. Between August 1 and December 31, 2019, any solar systems that are sold within these school districts will result in a $250 donation to the Fall Sports Booster Program at the school.
“We hope that this promotion will be a great success. Nothing would make me happier than to cut some very large checks at the end of the year to support these schools and their sport programs,” said Diaz in an announcement of the new inititative.
SinglePoint made the acquisition of Direct Solar looking at trailing-twelve-month revenue of approximately $1.5 million. As a testament to demand, sales have been skyrocketing. From mid-May to mid-June (the first 30 days under SinglePoint ownership), the company signed contracts to deploy $1.7 million in solar systems, while widening its footprint into Tampa, Orlando and St. Louis, with the Miami markets coming soon.
The $1.7 million in revenue is expected to generate about $803,769 in gross profit and $361,541 in net profit.
Based upon the latest figures (and likely factoring in seasonal factors), SinglePoint management forecasts 2019 revenue of $7.0 million.
The Cannabis Factor
SinglePoint is a holding company that fancies itself the Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK.A) of the OTC markets. SinglePoint CEO Greg Lambrecht made the comparison a little tongue-in-cheek in a call with RedChip Money Report’s Dave Gentry, but he was speaking in seriousness about how well recent investments are paying off.
The company has deepened its roots on several verticals in the cannabis space, an exploding market that dovetails extremely well with Direct Solar’s offerings. The initial focus may have been on residential, but the SinglePoint subsidiary is now finalizing development of a commercial lending solution that will serve small-to-medium businesses (SMBs), including those in the cannabis space, with a platform like its residential offering. The plan is to have the new business operations running in the coming weeks.
As explained by Diaz and attested to by Ralston, electricity is one of the single biggest expenses for cannabis cultivators. With lighting and HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) representing intense costs, solar is a natural solution to improve margins.
A lingering problem for the market has been that the traditional banking system stayed at arm’s length to marijuana companies because cannabis remains a Schedule I drug alongside heroin at the federal level. Wall Street moved a bit slow at first, but with the incessant flow of changing regulations in favor of cannabis in the Americas and abroad, big money has been steadily streaming into the cannabis markets to support innovation, which bodes well for a first mover like SinglePoint with Direct Solar.
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