Nairobi-based off-grid solar firm d.light has raised $22.5 million Series D financing to expand into new markets in a move to support its mission of providing solar energy solutions for households and small businesses around the world.
KawiSafi Ventures Fund, Energy Access Ventures, Omidyar Network and NewQuest Capital Partners led the round with $15 million, while Shell Foundation, the U.S. Agency for International Development – Development Innovation Ventures (USAID-DIV) and United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) contributed $5 million in grants. SunFunder, contributed $2.5m in debt funding.
According to 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.”
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. The firm was M-KOPA Solar’s first white-label solar products manufacturer and it recently licensed its pay-as-you-go financing technology to partners and distributors around the world supporting a full range of payment options, d.light provides the technical support required to establish payment, customer support and credit distribution systems in country.
With over 1.6 million households being served in Kenya, the firm says it will use the funding round ramp up sales for its D30 solar home system, in Kenya and the larger East Africa and bring to the market new products 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.
Dr. Michael H. Gera, Managing Partner of Energy Access Ventures will be joining the d.light board. d.light recently worked with the Give Power Foundation to connect 120 schools in Kenya with solar lighting and aims to empower 100 million people around the world with affordable and reliable solar by 2020.