As Forbes published in this article, “the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission could finalize regulations this year to implement the JOBS Act, the 2012 law that lets startups raise funds directly from mom-and-pop investors”.
There is one startup, called Mosaic, who has already started to make it possible. “The two-year-old Oakland, Calif. firm won approval in California and New York to allow individuals to invest directly via its website. The twist is that the investments are loans, not equity, and the money goes (for now) only to new solar power developments”. They use crowdfunding to let ordinary investors own a piece of the sun.
“One of the fastest ways to build the clean energy economy is to allow more people to benefit from it,” says Billy Parish, Mosaic’s 31-year-old cofounder and president.
Anthony Kim, a solar analyst with research firm Bloomberg New Energy Finance, questions whether Mosaic can attract a big enough pipeline of investors to fund large solar projects. “For now, I think it’s a relatively niche product,” he says.
The startup hopes to build on its current 7,000 potential investors via social media referrals and by targeting foundations, financial advisors and corporations.