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Domestic solar start-up d.light raises Sh2.2bn for East Africa expansion


NAIROBI, Kenya, 23 Sept – Home solar solution provider d.light has announced it has secured $22.5 million (Sh2.2bn) in financing to grow its PayGo business and support its mission of providing solar energy solutions for households and small businesses around the world.

The PayGo financing technology will help d.light’s growing list of partners provide modern, clean and reliable energy solutions to people living in off- grid communities who can’t afford the upfront cost of a solar home system.

The organization recently worked with the Give Power Foundation to connect 120 schools in Kenya with solar lighting. d.light aims to empower 100 million people around the world with affordable and reliable solar by 2020.

d.lightwhich has so far reached over 1.6 million households in Kenya with its off the grid solar solutions, and will spend a significant portion of the investment in Kenya and the East African market.

The company raised $15 million (Sh1.5bn) in Series D equity from KawiSafi Ventures Fund, Energy Access Ventures, Omidyar Network and NewQuest Capital Partners. Debt funding was also raised through SunFunder.

“We are thankful for the support from these global organizations, which is instrumental for achieving our goal to bring safe and affordable energy to off-grid families,” said d.light CFO Kamal Lath.

“Consumer financing for solar home systems makes the technology significantly more affordable for our customers. This funding will enable more families and business owners to enjoy access to the affordable, clean and reliable solar energy solutions they need to improve their quality of life.”

The funding round also includes over $5 million in grant funding. Shell Foundation, the U.S. Agency for International Development – Development Innovation Ventures (USAID-DIV) and United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) were key contributors to this round.

“Energy Access Ventures works closely with companies bringing reliable energy access to rural and peri-urban areas, and d.light is the perfect addition to our portfolio,” said Dr. Michael H. Gera, Managing Partner of Energy Access Ventures, who will be joining the d.light board.

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“This is our largest investment to date, and we wholeheartedly believe in d.light’s efforts to raise more people up the energy access ladder.”

As an early pioneer in solar lighting and home systems, d.light has paved the way for the development of the off-grid solar industry and is now the industry’s largest manufacturer.

With this new funding, d.light will focus on ramping up sales for its D30 solar home system, as well as bringing new products to market that can power other appliances, like TVs and fans. Currently, d.light operates five distribution hubs in East Africa, West Africa, India, Southeast Asia and the United States.

As of August 2016, d.light has impacted the lives of over 65 million people globally, including 17 million school-aged children, with its solar lighting and solar home system solutions.

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