Social impact investor Oikocredit is providing a loan of US$ 5 million to Yellow, a supplier of pay-as-you-go off-grid solar solutions and appliances. With this loan, Yellow plans to bring access to electricity to an estimated 89,000underserved households in sub-Saharan Africa.
With Oikocredit’s support, Yellow will be able to give low-income people in Malawi, Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia both access to clean energy and a path to ownership of off-grid solar products that can be extended to fit users’ growing energy needs.
According to Michael Heyink,founder of Yellow, access to renewable electricity will support households in improving their living standards, increasing their earning potential and achieving lives of greater dignity.
Based in South Africa, Yellow’s purpose is to make life better for customers living in Africa. Through a digital technology platform, Yellow enables a distributed network of sales agents to serve rural households with life changing products and services.
Since its inception in 2018, Yellow has pioneered and provided solar energy solutions for low-income communities. It has sold more than 300 000 energy devices to date, helping improve the lives of more than 1.5 million people with clean energy access.
Furthermore, the startup has been providing meaningful economic opportunities for more than 1 200 people by employing them as agents.
To date, renewable energy generated by Yellow’s solar home systems has avoided approximately 442,671 metric tonnes of CO2 equivalent by replacing kerosene lanterns and diesel generators.
Heyink says, “We are delighted to be partnering with Oikocredit on this transformational facility. This loan will enable us to access local currency funding in multiple jurisdictions, providing our business with greater scope to serve more customers and better.”
Siebren Wilschut, investment officer at Oikocredit, adds: “We’re very pleased to support Yellow, one of the fastest growing companies in the industry, in its expansion to provide greater access to energy across Africa. With this investment, we continue our commitment to achieving higher social impact in sub-Saharan Africa through investments in renewable energy. Our partnership with Yellow will enable the company to increase its social impact by helping low-income people become healthier, improve their livelihoods and be better connected.”