Entrepreneurship was in the DNA of the founders of SolarCity (IPO in 2012, acquired by Tesla in 2016). The company was co-founded by brothers Lyndon and Peter Rive in 2006, with their cousin Elon Musk serving as founding chairman. Lyndon, who served as CEO of SolarCity, is a unique entrepreneur. A South African native, he started his journey in high school distributing homeopathic medicines, which gave him the capital to co-found his first tech company with Peter, Everdream, a desktop services management company, later acquired by Dell. A competitive national underwater hockey player, Lyndon flew to San Jose for a competition in 1998 and inspired by the vibe of the Bay Area, decided to emigrate to the US.
When I met Lyndon in 2010, we had developed a thesis around energytech and a map of the entire value chain where big companies could be created.
At that time, SolarCity had established itself as the leading end-to-end full service solar provider to residential and commercial customers and government organizations. The company had a vertically integrated product with turnkey solutions for system design, installation, financing, rebate processing and services. Its innovation on providing lease-based financing had lowered the barrier to adoption by customers and accelerated the growth of Solar PV systems. In a market of mom and pop energy distributors, the SolarCity brand stood for reliability and great service. We were honored to join Elon Musk, its largest shareholder and existing investors in a growth round in 2010.
It has been a privilege to be associated with Lyndon, Peter, Elon and the entire team at SolarCity, who were inspired to contribute to improving planetary health before climate change made it an imperative.