About Wunder Capital
Based out of Boulder, CO, Wunder Capital is a financial technology company that funds different solar projects around the country.
Not only does this provide a clean, renewable source of energy, but it also offers the company’s investors strong, long-term cash flow, low volatility, and a diverse portfolio—not to mention the power to “fight climate change!”
Unlike the competition, Wunder Capital uses a software-enabled approach for their data collection. These algorithms help the team select and negotiate deals in a very short period of time (faster and more accurately than a bank), and then pass the savings on to you.
Even after a project is funded, Wunder Capital remains behind the wheel throughout the contracting and construction process. The company even “manages the ongoing operation and maintenance of the array, bills the energy customer, and distributes proceeds to investors,” so you’ll always know who’s in control of your investment.
You’re looking to diversify your portfolio. And while you might not have considered investing in solar projects in the past, they’ve recently become popular enough to pique your interest.
Should you dip your toes into the “solar waters” with Wunder Capital? Is investing in solar projects even a wise move? We’ll answer all your questions here.
Are You an Accredited Investor?
First, remember that you have to be an accredited investor in order to invest in a Wunder Capital project. What’s this mean? According to Wunder’s FAQ, this is anyone who:
- Has earned income in excess of $200,000 for the past two years individually, or $300,000 with a spouse, with the expectation of earning the same this year.
- Has assets in excess of $1 million, excluding the value of a primary residence.
If this doesn’t include you, don’t feel bad, since only about 7% of Americans qualify as accredited investors.
Did you qualify? Great! This means you should be able to invest with Wunder Capital. But are solar projects considered wise investments in the first place?
Are Solar Projects Good Investments?
Wunder Capital indicates that their solar projects can help investors earn a projected 6% annual return through their Wunder Income Fund, or a projected 7.5% annual return through their Wunder Capital 5, with monthly deposits made directly into your bank account.
Elsewhere on their site, the company advertises that by investing $100K into Wunder Capital 5, you are projected to receive $804 per month for 60 months, with a projected payment of $86,930 on maturity
At any rate, The Motley Fool claims that the solar industry is worth $120 billion today, but is projected to be worth $4 trillion per year by 2035. Even up until this point, the solar industry has grown by 30% each year over the last 20 years.
This doesn’t mean that investing in solar projects is for everyone though. Just like any other form of investing, there’s always the risk of losing your money if a project goes south. And there are also some unique considerations to keep in mind, including:
- The level of technology a company uses in their projects. Are they using outdated technology to maximize profits, or are they focused on implementing only the latest tech?
- Which market is the project intended to serve? A project in Massachusetts might operate very different than one in Arizona, even with the same technology, while offering different returns.
- Are subsidies and/or tax credits being used on the project? If so, when are they set to expire? If this occurs when you’re not expecting, it could all but destroy your investment.
A Note about Uncorrelated Asset Classes
The Wunder Capital website emphasizes that “solar is an uncorrelated asset class and can offset your exposure to market fluctuations.” Is this actually the case?
An uncorrelated asset is basically one that’s not correlated (or not tied, if you will) to the performance of other assets. In other words, it increases or decreases in value on its own terms, without being influenced by other events.
What’s the advantage? This means that even if every one of the stocks (or any other investment tool) in your portfolio decreased in value, the money you invested in a Wunder Capital solar project won’t follow suit. Thereby reducing your overall risk.
So, can you make good money on a solar project investment through Wunder Capital (or any other similar company)? It’s certainly possible. Just remember that like any other investment, solar projects will come with a certain level of risk.
Also, keep in mind that at 6%, while their Income Fund might provide lower returns than stocks, their Wunder Capital 5 advertises more opportunity at 7.5%.
But you need to know exactly what you’re getting yourself into, which is why you should always consult with a financial professional before making any investment decision.
What are other investors saying about Wunder Capital?
Wunder Capital’s Online Reputation
In 2016 Wunder Capital Rasiesd $3.6M Series A led by Techstars Ventures as described in this Wall Street Journal article.
More recently, the company has been mentioned in articles from a variety of national news organizations, including The Wall Street Journal, TechCrunch, and Business Insider after securing a $112M debt and equity facility from Cyrus Capital Partners.
Wunder Capital also wasn’t listed with the Better Business Bureau at the time of our research, despite the fact that they’ve been in business since 2013. Wunder Capital’s securities are offered through WealthForge, LLC, who also wasn’t with the BBB.
To this extent, Bloomberg provided some insight into what Wunder Capital expects to accomplish this year:
“Wunder’s software chooses promising commercial properties to finance. The company has loaned funds for more than 185 solar projects with a total of about 65 megawatts of capacity. It expects to provide financing for about 120 megawatts this year, more than triple the 37 megawatts completed last year, according to Chief Executive Officer Bryan Birsic.”
Using this business model, Wunder Capital is tapping into a vastly underserved portion of the solar market. In other words, while other areas of solar (primarily residential) have blossomed, these businesses are largely unable to get the financing they need to join the trend.
According to Greentech Media, Wunder Capital is currently ranked #8 on their Who’s Who list of top players in the commercial solar space, and the only solar financer in the Top 15, with -- as noted above -- expectations to finance 3x more solar in 2018 vs 2017. For more in-depth data, be sure to read through the company’s 2017 Year in Review.
Considering all of this, is Wunder Capital right for you?
Should You Invest in a Wunder Capital Solar Project?
As we outlined above, the solar industry is booming and shows no signs of slowing down any time soon. And as with any other market, if you can invest on the uptrend, you could stand to make a whole lot of money.
This doesn’t mean that Wunder Capital’s solar projects don’t come with a certain level of risk, or that they’ll even provide a solid annual return compared to your other investments. For these reasons (and many others), you’ll want to speak with a financial professional about whether or not a Wunder Capital solar project is the right investment opportunity for you.