If you were wondering how peer-to-peer solar finance company Mosaic is faring, here’s a sign. Mosaic announced today that financial services and solar industry veteran Bruce Ledesma has been named the company’s Chief Operating Officer.
With his proven track record of successfully growing businesses through rapidly evolving market conditions, Ledesma comes well equipped to scale Mosaic’s operations to serve its growing base of investors, borrowers, and solar installers.
What attracted Ledesma, who’s held an executive position at SunPower, to Mosaic? The business model. “Both peer-to-peer lending and solar are currently experiencing high growth,” he told PV Solar Report in an interview, positioning Mosaic “at the intersection of two great growth markets.”
The challenge for Mosaic, he added, is ensuring that the operations environment keeps pace with that growth. Implementing repeatable systems and processes will be crucial for scaling Mosaic’s operations.
The company has excelled at reacting to market conditions in real time, using customer feedback to make quick product decisions. This gives Mosaic an edge over banks providing similar financial products, Ledesma said. Mosaic has also been quicker than both the banking and solar industries to adopt social networking, one of the company’s core talents.
It doesn’t hurt that Mosaic offers what Ledesma calls “the best financing products for the residential market.” For installers, Mosaic provides a couple things they can’t get from a bank: a far less cumbersome experience, and an investor base that’s a great source of lead-generation opportunities.
“Mosaic is participating in a disruptive platform within financial services,” says Ledesma. “We’re providing more access to borrowers, and making it much less bureaucratic to get a loan.”
What does that mean for homeowners? Instant loan qualification, lower monthly payments, and a 20-year term that includes operations and maintenance. These features put the Mosaic loan on par with a lease, notes Ledesma — with the difference that at the end of the 20 years, the customer owns a system that will add value to their home as opposed to potentially making it harder to sell.
“As solar ownership continues to gain market share over the lease in the years ahead, I look forward to staying focused on offering the most competitive loan product for homeowners, as well as driving out the soft costs of the financing process for our installer partners,” says Ledesma.
The loan product is a great example of Mosaic’s innovation in both financial services and solar. Ledesma says, “We are fundamentally a consumer lending business and a business that issues securities to the public to finance loans. These are highly regulated activities, which Mosaic takes very seriously, and we’re building a culture that reflects our identity in financial services.”
While Ledesma is clearly passionate about solar and appreciates Mosaic’s mission-driven bent, he notes, “That mission is better fulfilled by building a strong, profitable company.”
To that end, the company is counting on the increasing market uptake of its peer-to-peer lending model, which Mosaic believes provides the most resilient financing options in an environment of declining federal incentives like the Incentive Tax Credit (ITC).
Ledesma is sanguine about the winding down of the ITC, saying its purpose was to buy time for the industry to drive down costs. “It succeeded and we will soon be ready to stand on our own feet,” he says, citing the arrival of grid parity in some regions and its inevitability everywhere else.
Before joining Mosaic, Ledesma worked as the Executive Vice President and General Counsel of SunPower Corporation during its growth from $250 million to $2.5 billion in revenue. He also served as Chief Operating Officer of Roble Capital, a private investment fund, and held executive positions with PowerLight Corporation, North America’s largest commercial solar installer, and Barra Inc., a global provider of portfolio management tools for financials institutions sold to Morgan Stanley in 2004.
“Bruce has demonstrated outstanding leadership in larger companies within the financial services and solar industries,” said Dan Rosen, Mosaic co-founder and CEO. “He has extensive knowledge and talent to scale Mosaic’s next growth cycle servicing home solar loans and crowdsourcing capital to finance them. We’re thrilled to have Bruce join Mosaic’s executive team.”
Ledesma is the latest addition to Mosaic, joining two other recent hires from SunRun and SunPower. Lara Perloff joins Mosaic as Controller from SunRun, where she served as a Fund Manager. Ken Hutchins joins Mosaic as Director of Sales from SunPower, where he ran National Residential Sales Training, and Verengo, where he managed one of the solar industry’s highest performing sales teams.