Greenlight Planet Announces $5MM Financing from OPIC to Serve 30% Off-Grid Households Worldwide
Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) led a $5 million financing in Greenlight Planet, a leading US-based company that distributes solar energy products for off-grid homes in emerging markets.
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.
“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,” says Anish Thakkar, the company’s CEO and Co-Founder.
Around 200 million households representing 1 billion people across the world who do not have access to electricity. Since its inception in 2009, Greenlight Planet has sold over 4.5 million Sun KingTM 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 KingTM products through an innovative consumer financing program called Sun King Easy BuyTM. 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.” In a market filled with poor quality products and counterfeits, Sun King Easy BuyTM is a pay-as–you-go-solution which makes high quality solar lamps accessible to millions by lowering upfront payments and providing flexible financing options.
“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,” said Elizabeth Littlefield, OPIC’s President and CEO. “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.”