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Home Energy Sun King raises $260M to widen clean energy access in Africa, Asia

Sun King raises $260M to widen clean energy access in Africa, Asia

by Enock Bett
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Sun King, the largest provider of solar energy products for off-grid homes in Africa and Asia, has announced that it has raised $260 million in Series D funding to deliver off-grid energy technologies to more people across the two continents.

The company which was founded in 2007 by T. Patrick Walsh (CEO) and Anish Thakkar has plans to use $100 million to expand its pay-as-you-go solutions and introduce larger setups that are capable of powering appliances like refrigerators. Its current systems can power lights, mobile phones, and small home appliances like TVs. Part of the funding will be used to expand the business’ presence.

To date, Sun King has powered the lives of 82 million people across 40 countries, Kenya being one of its first markets, where it reports having benefited 18 million people over 10 years of operations. It also has a presence in Zambia, Uganda, Tanzania, and Nigeria, where it says its customers tripled over the last year.

“This investment in Sun King marks an incredible inflection point for the global off-grid solar industry,” said T. Patrick Walsh, co-founder, and CEO of Sun King. “Over the last 15 years, we have delivered solar energy and light to over 82 million people, enabling kids to study for school, helping entrepreneurs run small businesses, and allowing families to power their lives, free from the danger and high cost of kerosene lanterns. This landmark investment allows us to continue scaling our technology, service, and financing capabilities so we can meet the needs of the next billion energy consumers.”

The latest funding round was led by BeyondNetZero, the climate investing venture of General Atlantic, with participation from M&G Investments’ Catalyst and Arch Emerging Markets Partners. Sun King’s founders retain voting control of the board. It has also previously raised $170 million in equity and debt funding.

“BeyondNetZero is excited to back Sun King, an industry-leading company that offers consumers accessible and affordable solar products, supported by fair and sustainable business practices,” said Eli Aheto, managing director, General Atlantic’s climate initiative BeyondNetZero.

“We look forward to partnering with the company and its leadership as they bring innovative and affordable off-grid solar products to new markets and continue to grow their meaningful contribution to the global net-zero transition,” said Aheto.

 “Sun King is leading a global transformation in the way we provide electricity to consumers in Africa and Asia. It’s now dramatically more affordable to power a home with a solar system than to extend the electrical grid: for less than the cost of a single electrical pole, we can install an entire solar energy system in-home. This funding will further unlock our ability to scale this revolution to the 1.8 billion people who need these products today, and the next billion who will need them tomorrow,” said Thakkar.

 Sun King now accounts for 38% of total industry-wide PAYG solar revenue according to the latest data collected by GOGLA, the global association for the off-grid solar energy industry. As a result, the company has eliminated 22 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions while saving consumers $4.4 billion in energy costs.

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