Editor’s Note: This article first appeared in the International Development Journal, an online journal offering a platform to engage in debate and discussions on global policies and current affairs.
Off-grid solar energy provider d.light has succeeded in raising over $40 million in funding over the past four months. The funding will be used to support d.light’s vision “where all people are empowered to enjoy the freedom and improved quality of life that comes with access to reliable, affordable off-grid light and power.”
The development follows on from a previous article, also published on the International Development Journal, by the same author in which he commented on how “small-scale solar power is surging ahead” how the continent is “leapfrogging power lines.” Huge potential exists and d.light actively works to realise this potential.
The new funding, according to one source, will enable d.light to “expand its operations and bring clean off-grid power to low-income families in Africa and Asia, using Pay-as-you-Go (PayGo) financing solutions.” To date, it has successfully raised $22.5 million through its Series D funding round, $7.5 million through its debt funding round and has just recently garnered an additional $10. In funding. This comprises of $5 million in equity funding from new investor Norfund along with $5.5 million in grant funding from the Beyond the Grid and Shell Foundation.
d.light’s results make impressive reading. Founded in 2007 as a for-profit social enterprise the company has successfully sold more than 15 million solar lighting and power systems across 62 different countries. Their sales have helped positively impact over 65 million people worldwide meaning d.light is on track towards achieving its goal of reaching 100 million people by 2020. Its products are of the highest quality and are distributed through its five distribution hubs in east Africa, west Africa, India, Southeast Asia and the United States of America.
Commenting on the funding raised, d.light CEO Ned Tozun, said “We are deeply grateful for the support of the investors in this latest funding round, which will help us empower more people in these regions.”
Kamal Lath, d.light’s CFO shared a similar sense of gratitude, by saying “We’re thankful to our investors for this support, which helps d.light accelerate development and distribution of our increasingly popular solar home systems and portable solar products.” He added “By enabling us to build on our product offerings, this funding helps us empower people to improve their quality of life.”
Despite being successful in their efforts to raise funding, d.light is not prepared to rest on its laurels. The organisation is actively seeking partners in its quest to help it achieve its stated goals due to the fact that over two billion people around the world lack reliable access to electricity. Recent improvements in technology and large cost reductions have helped create an “explosive market for affordable, quality solar products” and this needs to be built on.