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Solar Universe Purchases Gen110 to Expand Its Sales Network

Solar Universe Inc., the closely held U.S. seller of solar-system franchises, acquired Gen110 to expand its sales network as competition increases for residential rooftops.

Adding Gen110’s sales team and technology means saving at least 15 to 20 percent on finding new customers, Joe Miller, executive vice president of business development at Livermore, California-based Solar Universe, said in a Sept. 3 interview. Miller declined to say what his company paid for San Francisco-based Gen110, which is backed by Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers.

“It’s going to put us in a position to garner more market share, and to do so quickly,” Miller said. “This kind of activity is going to be to be one of the components that separates the winners from the losers in this industry.”

Solar Universe has 38 franchise offices stretching from Hawaii to Puerto Rico that lease and sell solar systems, and the company may add 10 more this year and as many as 40 in 2014, Miller said. Most customers of the franchisees lease rooftop panels, similar to those of SolarCity Corp., which last month agreed to buy a direct-marketing firm for $120 million.

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