Enphase receives much-needed influx of cash

The Enphase microinverter has enjoyed wide adoption across many residential markets, but competition is increasingly fierce.

Enphase, once the dominant microinverter manufacturer in the U.S. solar market, has struggled to achieve its quarterly goals since 2015. However, at least two investors still believe in the company and its ability to compete.

T.J. Rodgers, founder and former CEO of Cypress Semiconductor, and John Doerr, chairman of Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers, agreed to invest $10 million in the struggling firm, which could offset some portion of recent quarterly deficits. Rodgers will join Enphase’s Board of Directors as one of the conditions for his investment.

As pv magazine has reported extensively, Enphase has missed quarterly projections regularly since 2015, even when orders of its microinverters beat expectations. In the not-too-distant past, Enphase dominated the microinverter market.

Since Q2 2014, however, the company has steadily lost marketshare to competitor SolarEdge, which manufacturers a combined power optimizer/inverter product. A National Renewable Energy Laboratories report showed decreasing costs/watt for SolarEdge. In fact, in Q1 of 2016, NREL reported that Enphase’s products cost approximately 50% more per watt than SolarEdge’s combination product.

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By Q3 2014, SolarEdge surpassed Enphase in the number of megawatts shipped, and as of Q1 last year was shipping approximately four times as many megawatts as the microinverter manufacturer. To offset missed revenue targets, Enphase trimmed its workforce by 11% in September and sold its residential operations-and-maintenance arm in December.

Enphase says it will use some of the $10 million on consulting services to advise them on now to improve its operational performance and boost support for global demand for its products.