omniture

SolarHome tops USD5 million in funding after latest investment from impact VC Insitor Impact Asia Fund

2018-07-26 09:00 1016

  • Latest USD1 million in growth capital will be used for network expansion across Myanmar, entry into more premium products, and expansion into Indonesia and Cambodia by year end
  • SolarHome in close partnership with IFC and World Bank to raise community awareness on pay-as-you-go solar in rural Myanmar

SINGAPORE, July 26, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- SolarHome, a pioneer in Pay-As-You-Go ("PAYG") solar for off-grid households in Southeast Asia, has raised USD5 million to date after closing a USD1 million convertible note offering with impact venture capital firm Insitor Impact Asia Fund.

Bradley Kopsick, Myanmar country manager at 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."

Ted Martynov, chief executive officer and co-founder of SolarHome, said, "We are pleased to welcome one of the most seasoned investors in this space. 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 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. The company currently distributes its off-grid systems via 20 sales hubs across central Myanmar and has installed more than 15,000 homes with its systems. SolarHome provides employment to over 350 employees that includes an extensive team of field sales representatives and installers. 

The PAYG model leverages a growing trend in rural communities where through commonly available mobile phones, consumers make regular payments on their mobiles to top up their solar home systems for up to two years, after which the system is "unlocked" and transferred to the consumer. This "rent-to-own" model provides customers access to financing that would not otherwise be available and increases the affordability of quality off-grid solar solutions.

SolarHome works with international development finance institutions in Myanmar to raise awareness and educate rural communities about the socio-economic and environmental benefits of PAYG solar. The Lighting Myanmar platform, co-founded by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the World Bank, is one such education initiative. Bill Gallery, program manager for IFC's Lighting Myanmar program, said, "IFC is very pleased to be working with SolarHome as one of our partners under the Lighting Myanmar project to provide sustainable energy solutions to the people of Myanmar. With our deep expertise and experience in other developing countries facing significant electricity gaps, we will help SolarHome and other developers grow a commercial and sustainable market for quality off-grid solar products in Myanmar that will eventually bring affordable and reliable power to communities in rural and remote areas."

SolarHome is led by an international leadership team with extensive experience and a proven track record in inclusive consumer finance in emerging markets. The company counts notable venture capital firms such as TRIREC, BeeNext and Uberis Capital, and distinguished angel investors, including Singaporean businessman Koh Boon Hwee, among its investors.

About SolarHome

SolarHome is the pioneer in Pay-As-You-Go ("PAYG") Solar for off-grid households in Southeast Asia. SolarHome installs the IFC-World Bank's Lighting Global certified integrated solar energy and appliance units in customers' homes and offers radically affordable "rent-to-own" plans of energy service subscription. This dramatically lowers the barriers to adoption of solar technology by the bottom-of-pyramid clients. SolarHome is delivering a significant social impact in its addressable market of 27 million households across Southeast Asia living outside of the electric grid. Headquartered in Singapore, SolarHome presently operates in Myanmar. SolarHome was seeded and developed by FORUM, a leading fintech venture builder in Emerging Asia.

About INSITOR  IMPACT ASIA FUND PTE LTD

Insitor Impact Asia Fund is a social venture capital fund that provides financing to social businesses in emerging and frontier markets. Insitor supports early stage companies that have the potential to improve the living standards of low-income communities. The fund focuses on a number of development sectors in Myanmar: renewable energy, nutrition, water and sanitation, financial inclusion, education, and livelihood enhancement. The fund also invests in Cambodia, India, and Pakistan. Visit www.insitorimpactasiafund.com to learn more.

About FORUM

FORUM is the largest fintech venture builder in Emerging Asia.  FORUM identifies unique market segments for rapid value creation and builds market-leading companies for capital gain. FORUM is currently  developing  four market-leading companies across Asia: CredoLab, AsiaCollect, SolarHome and AsiaKredit.  The company is headquartered in Singapore and led by founder and CEO Greg Krasnov.

Media Contact
Keshia de Vries, PR Manager, FORUM
kdevries@forum-cap.com | +65-9479-2366

Source: SolarHome
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