SolarHome raises US$1M afresh to take its pay-as-you-go solar energy system to Indonesia, Cambodia
SolarHome offers solar lighting system at a low-cost 24-month subscription plan, with an initial US$10 down payment
SolarHome, a Singapore-based company that brings pay-as-you-go solar solutions into off-grid households in Southeast Asia, announced today it has secured US$1 million in convertible note offering from impact VC firm Insitor Impact Asia Fund.
This comes less than two months after raising US$2 million from local investment company TRIREC, which specialises in cleantech and renewable energy.
The latest round brings SolarHome’s total investment to US$5 million.
SolarHome will use the new funds to extend its network of hubs throughout Myanmar, move into offering more premium products, and to expand into Indonesia and Cambodia by year end.
Ted Martynov, Co-founder and CEO of SolarHome, said: “Insitor is one of the few regional funds that has an on-the- ground presence in Myanmar and an intricate understanding of rural Myanmar. With this round, SolarHome is on track to hit EBITDA breakeven by end of this year, after which we will see significantly lower reliance on equity capital to finance our operations.”
SolarHome offers off-grid households a solar lighting system at a low-cost 24-month subscription plan, with an initial US$10 down payment, followed by daily, weekly, or monthly repayments through scratch cards or mobile money. Technology built into the system ensures that it won’t function if a payment is not made, giving lenders the confidence that they will be able to recover their investment.
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In just over a year since its 250-home pilot, SolarHome claims to have expanded distribution to over 20 hubs and installed over 15,000 homes with its off-grid systems. After completing the payment plan, the system is unlocked and transferred to the customer. This ‘rent-to-own’ model provides customers access to financing.
SolarHome provides employment to over 350 people.
Bradley Kopsick, Myanmar Country Manager for Insitor, said: “SolarHome impressed us with their strong growth trajectory over the past 15 months, reaching more than 15,000 households in Myanmar while maintaining high portfolio quality. The company is a natural fit to our current microfinance and renewable energy portfolios. Moving forward, we see valuable synergies between SolarHome and our existing investments and networks that will help to accelerate its strategy to grow and gain a firm foothold in the Southeast Asia region.”
The company’s other backers are BeeNext, Uberis Capital, and angel investors including Singaporean businessman Koh Boon Hwee.
SolarHome was seeded and developed by FORUM, a fintech venture builder in emerging Asia.