After raising $22 million in 2011, the cleantech building developer Project Frog has now raised $20 million in Series D financing from CCM US LLC and McNally Capital, along with other members of the Cleantech Syndicate.
Like an IKEA for energy-efficient buildings, Project Frog develops building components that arrive at the construction site ready for assembly. Some of their products are specific to education and medical buildings, with other “Flex” kits that can serve a number of use cases. Because their projects take relatively little time to complete — about six months on average — affordability is a big part of their pitch, in addition to energy efficiency.
Project Frog CEO Ann Hand said that with this latest infusion of cash the company is expanding its pipeline and will be delivering a significant number of buildings to some of the country’s largest school districts and healthcare providers. They are also continuing to build out their product design and manufacturing capability.
“For education, we now have a price point affordable to the masses, making available a bright alternative to portables,” Hand said. “We aren’t going to stop until we have millions of kids in these Frogs. We’re also further developing our healthcare and retail solutions, as well as some innovative solutions for new verticals.”
Thus far in 2013, Project Frog has developed seven times the square footage it did in 2012. Early on in the year it scored a contract with the South San Francisco Unified School District for over 200,000 square feet of new school facilities, Hand said.
Cleantech has had a tough time gaining traction with VCs, but Project Frog seems to have found its ground in positioning itself as a cost efficient option in what Hand cited as a $7 trillion global construction market.
“This is now bigger than just a clean tech play. We are at a truly differentiated cost position that warrants the capital injection to further widen the competitive gap and deliver at scale for the kind of venture returns investors are seeking,” Hand said.
As McNally Capital vice president Adam Lerner pointed out, the market opportunity for cleantech companies is vast but often difficult to access at scale. Project Frog, however, has mitigated the risks typically associated with the sector, Lerner said.
“Adopting a different technology or process is challenging, especially when the upfront and switching costs are high,” he said. “Frog has shown that its products and process can add significant value in terms of operating performance, build time frame, and user experience – all for same or lower cost.”
[Image from Project Frog]