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Make hay while the sun shines: Doug Robinson, CEO of LGCY Power

Doug Robinson, CEO and co-founder of residential solar company LGCY Power, speaks with Acuris Capital Intelligence about the early decision that allowed him to bootstrap the company and the pivot made in the early days of the pandemic that kept the momentum going.

Interview by Nate Trela

Q: What has been the key to scaling your company without outside capital?

When we started LGCY, we had seen archaic systems for the customer acquisition side of the business and tried to fix that. We developed a software platform we now call Canvass that is an app front end to a CRM that is user-friendly for salespeople in the field. We automated some processes, and we grew quickly.

We've been debt-free, cash-flow positive and profitable and haven't needed a dollar of outside capital. We have 100% control and stayed nimble, so we haven't felt like we needed a partner to get to the next level.

Q: Do you ever consider bringing in private equity or selling the company?

We are a mission-driven business, a purpose-driven business. We want to leave a legacy to make the world a cleaner, better place and create an amazing work environment for our employees.

With all of that in mind, we'd have to find someone who is aligned with our mission. We've had multiple PE firms reach out to us. And there is a lot of talk in our space about how consolidation is coming to the residential solar market. There are plenty of opportunities and we looked at some, however briefly. We haven't really been for sale.

Q: As a company that relies on face-to-face meetings with potential customers, how did the pandemic affect your business?

When it hit, 80% of our sales were in-home, consultant-style selling. When you suddenly can't go in people's homes, that's a major concern. The question was really about customer acquisition, though. We have a creative team and we were forced to re-evaluate our business, figuring out how to be more effective, how to manage leads more efficiently. We thought about how we could capture business from data mining, really diving in and expanding how we find customers. And we could still provide consultative-style selling from Zoom calls or something similar. We leaned into it and we were off to the races.

A bit of background: LGCY Power is one of the largest privately held solar companies in the US, with more than 300 megawatts of solar installed for more than 40,000 customers and it is licensed in 30 states. CEO Doug Robinson and CSO Luke Toone co-founded the company in 2014.

This interview has been edited for clarity and length.