Robust demand for Brighte’s inexperienced securitisation deal for solar
Katherine McConnell, CEO of Brighte, who worked in the asset-backed financing space at Macquarie, said she spent a lot of money on a start-up to get the specialty vehicle it took to run a major bank and then attract public market funding.
An early debt fund was backed by Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes and subsequently by National Australia Bank through an initial corporate debt facility of $ 20 million in 2018. This was increased to USD 60 million in the next year before MAN Brighte moved securitization counters for institutional banks to its fund.
Fourteen investors, including in Australia and offshore, backed the deal, which was oversubscribed two to four times by the various tranches, including Grok Ventures from Mr. Cannon-Brookes, a mezzanine financier for Brighte. Skip Capital, who works on behalf of Atlassian’s co-founder Scott Farquhar, is also providing mezzanine funding to support the NAB vehicle.
Brighte’s initial funding cost was more than 10 percent, but the latest deal brought the total cost of financing to less than 3 percent after three years of operation.
“We’re passing that on to customers,” said Ms. McConnell. “We want to be the dominant green financier in Australia and lowering the cost of money really helps us with that goal.”
The deal doesn’t include arrears on COVID-19 loans or Brighte’s new loans for home electrification improvements.
“A key strength of this transaction is the full exposure to home equity products such as solar panels and the high return on the portfolio,” Moody’s said in its pre-sale report. “A major challenge for lending is the limited amount of historical loss data that is available for Brighte as it is a relatively new originator.”
Brighte hopes his next deal can offer an AAA rating for the top tranche to encourage more pension funds and other banks to support. The fastest growing residential green energy financier in the country plans to come back into the debt market every 12 to 24 months.
Brighte’s deal was first announced in The Australian Financial Review last year when Cannon-Brookes said the fintech “was helping make clean energy more readily available [which is] a great thing.”
In addition to the deal arranger NAB, the consultants include the law firms Ashurst and King & Wood Mallesons, the trustee Perpetual, the auditor Deloitte and the consultants for environmentally friendly certifications DN VGL and Climate Bond Initiative.
Brighte has approved over $ 500 million for 60,000 homes, accredited more than 1,700 solar installers, and its customers have generated more than 500 GWh of clean energy.