D.light, a privately-owned retailer of solar appliances based in the US city of San Francisco, recently raised USD 22.5 million in funding to expand its PayGo platform, which offers microloans to finance purchases of solar products. The plan allows customers to borrow directly from d.light or through local financial institutions.
Four investment firms invested a total of USD 15 million in series D equity funding: (1) Energy Access Ventures, a France-based venture capital fund investing in companies providing access to electricity in Africa; (2) KawiSafi Ventures Fund, an “impact” fund managed by US-based nonprofit Acumen; (3) NewQuest Capital Partners, a Hong-Kong based private equity firm; and (4) Omidyar Network, a US-based “impact” investor. The amounts invested by each entity and the sizes of the stakes they received have not been made public.
D.light also received USD 2.5 million in debt financing through US-based SunFunder, which raises private capital for investments in solar energy companies, and a total of USD 5 million in grant funding from the US-based Shell Foundation, the United States Agency for International Development and the United Nations Capital Development Fund.
D.light is slated to use the capital to bring the company’s low-power televisions to market and to “build out a sales network for [d.light’s] ‘totally proprietary’ technology platform,” according to Ned Tozun, the CEO of d.light. As of 2016, d.light has five distribution centers and four offices in Africa, Asia and the US. Financial information on d.light is unavailable.
By Michelle Dold, Research Associate
Founded in 2006, d.light is a privately-owned company based in the US city of San Francisco that provides solar panels, lights and other appliances primarily to consumers in “emerging markets.” The company’s PayGo platform allows clients to take out microloans directly through d.light or through local financial institutions in order to finance purchases of the company’s products. As of 2016, d.light has five distribution centers and four offices in Africa, Asia and the US. Financial information on d.light is unavailable.
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