London-based private equity fund manager Apis Partners and other investors announced disbursement of $60 MM in new funding to Greenlight Planet Inc., the leading provider of off-grid solar products and solar financing for underserved populations around the world.
Greenlight Planet, a growth-stage company with a mandate to deliver social as well as financial returns, disclosed that it has been profitable in each of the last 10 financial quarters.
Greenlight Planet announced that it now operates the world’s largest direct-to-consumer, pay-as-you-go (PAYG) solar product distribution business, with over 2,400 company-managed sales agents in five countries, selling more than 25,000 solar products to off-grid consumers each month. Using mobile money systems, customers pay for their solar energy products over time, for as little as 25 cents per day. After six to eight months, they own the solar product outright, making solar energy more affordable than traditional electrical grid power.
Greenlight’s line of Sun King™ solar-powered products, now used by nearly 30 million consumers in 62 countries, includes lighting, home energy systems, phone chargers, radios, fans, and soon-to-be-released televisions. The company began selling affordable solar home systems just three years ago, and has sold nearly 600,000 to date, now at a rate of over 1,000 solar home systems per day. Greenlight Planet partners with a network of more than 100 distributors, including retailers, NGOs, and over 40 micro-finance institutions, to provide sales and service for off-grid communities in 62 countries.
Financing of off-grid solar home systems is a step toward broader financial inclusion for rural, unbanked consumers in emerging markets across Africa and Asia: Consumers without previous access to credit can build a credit history via the PAYG payment model, enabling Greenlight to offer them additional products and financial services in the future. Greenlight Planet will use the new debt and equity capital to expand its solar-energy product lines, distribution networks, and financing capabilities in Africa and Asia. There, over a billion people lack reliable access to electricity, finding it too expensive or unavailable.
Clermount acted as sole financial advisor to Greenlight Planet in this transaction.