The economy has recovered and America is back on track…I know it doesn&;t feel like it yet but there are some early signs, like the venture capital money flowing again. A prime example occurred this week, when Lowe&;s Home Improvement injected $8 million of financing in a home energy efficiency start-up Recurve Inc.
This investment is historic in its nature because Lowe&;s has never invested in any other early-stage company. The synergies with this relationship are not too difficult to uncover. Currently, there are billions of dollars of government money waiting to be released with the potential passage of the Homestar Bill. Additionally, energy audits and the subsequent retrofits lead to the purchase of energy-efficient home improvement supplies – which Lowes carries. Lowe&;s can supply the exposure through in store displays to catapult Recurve into the big leagues while ensuring a steady stream of sold products.
What is Recurve going to do with $8 million? Good Question! Recurve plans on adding to its staff of 65 to push through it’s existing business pipeline, which is filled with hundreds of orders for their energy auditing software. In addition to actually running energy audits and retrofits, Recurve has designed software that aids other contractors through the energy auditing process. This package is sure to take off as the energy auditing market begins to ramp up from its current infancy stage.
So what does this all mean? The immediate impact is not great but this investment is symbolic of the future of home improvement. Very large players (the government, Lowes, etc…) are now taking notice in the opportunities available to us in the energy-efficiency building industry. Soon, every home improvement, from paint to roofing shingles, will be tied to energy efficiency and green building. Energy-efficient building is arguably still in its infancy and will be sure to explode with future cash injections.
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