Greenlight Planet raises $5M in financing to expand solar off-grid energy access in the developing world

The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), a U.S. government’s development finance institution, signed an agreement with Greenlight Planet, Inc. to finalize $5 million in OPIC financing to support its expansion to provide affordable solar off-grid energy access across the developing world.

This is the 3rd round of funding for Greenlight Planet. Previously, they received their seed funding from Mr. Prabhat Sinha, a co-founder of ZS Associates, followed by a Series A funding led by Bamboo finance and a recent Series B funding from Fidelity Investments. Greenlight Planet was most recently selected as one of Fast Company’s “2016 Top Ten Most Innovative Companies” for the Social Good sector.

Greenlight Planet, with its products branded as “Sun King”, provides high quality affordable solar lighting and phone charging devices to populations living off the electric grid in emerging markets throughout Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

Since its inception in 2009, Greenlight Planet has sold over 4.5 million  solar lighting and phone charging devices, impacting the lives of over 15 million people living in rural and under-electrified areas. Now the company is targeting an aggressive penetration of 30% of off-grid households by 2020.

To do this, Greenlight Planet is planning a major move into the fintech space by integrating Angaza’s Pay-As-You-Go technology into upcoming “Sun King” products through an innovative consumer financing program called “Sun King Easy Buy. This program is a pay-as–you-go-solution intented to make high quality solar lamps accessible to millions by lowering upfront payments and providing flexible financing options.

Thakkar explains:

“To achieve our mission of bringing affordable, best quality lighting to as many off-grid consumers as possible, we had to make it even easier for our consumers to switch over from unsafe kerosene lamps.”

 

With this OPIC growth financing, Greenlight Planet will expand its global distribution network in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.

Anish Thakkar, Greenlight Planet’s CEO and Co-Founder said:

“We’re building the world’s largest rooftop solar consumer base in emerging markets and are delighted to have OPIC’s expertise on-board. This financing enables us to massively expand distribution globally and commercialize a much demanded pay-as-you-go solution by our consumers. ”

Elizabeth Littlefield, OPIC’s President and CEO said:

“The expansion of off-grid energy solutions at scale is crucial to bring connectivity, opportunity, and security to populations that live away from the grid. Greenlight Planet’s strategy draws together clear development impact goals with a sound business plan and innovative partnerships to open up wider distribution. I’m looking forward to the results of OPIC’s support to them.”


Source: Press Release by OPIC and Greenlight Planet. Image Credit: OPIC.