Quick, what do Salesforce.com, TiVo, WebMD and One Block Off the Grid all have in common?
Answer, they've all received venture backing from the same firm, New Enterprise Associates. In the case of One Block Off the Grid, the investment comes in the form of a $5 million, Series A funding round.
Now, you're asking, what or who is One Block Off the Grid? I've actually mentioned them several times here in this blog, because their model is rather unique. One Block is, at its core, an advocacy group for residential solar installations. Around since 2008, the group goes into a neighborhood to build interest in solar and find possible buyers. Once it figures out who's interested, it help negotiate group discounts and connects interested consumers with solar installers. The group started in a very grassroots format in San Francisco, but has branched out into communities across California, as well as Austin, Texas, and Aspen Colorado.
So far, the group has directly influenced 600 residential solar electric installations, and the new financing will be put toward accelerating its advocacy efforts.