Teaming up with d.light to illuminate rural Africa and India
Zurich, 10 April, 2018 — Two responsAbility-managed debt funds and d.light, a global leader in delivering affordable solar-powered solutions to households in emerging markets, have signed an agreement for a USD 10 m working capital loan. The financing is designed to help scale d.light’s pay-as-you-go solar home system business.
Some 2 bn people in the developing world live without access to reliable energy. Electricity from off-grid solar systems has contributed to closing this supply gap and alleviating poverty, while providing users access to better education, clean water and improved healthcare in the process.
Within the maturing global off-grid solar market, d.light has established itself as one of the best-known providers of small energy systems. Over a decade of operation, the company has sold some 19 m products in over 62 countries. d.light offers the full range of products, from basic solar lanterns to solar home systems with appliances like TV and fan.
The company has built up a wide network of distribution partners including local retailers, microfinance institutions and multi-national distribution companies. This approach allows the company to efficiently address rural consumers according to the particularities of each market, reaching out to Indian customers via microfinance organisations and using retail channels in Kenya.
“We are thrilled to unlock debt financing at a significant scale, which takes us to the next level of our evolutionary journey,” said Ned Tozun, d.light co-founder and CEO. “We’ve been able to get to this stage thanks to an unyielding focus on financial discipline and operational excellence to ensure consistent profitability, which has enabled us to access large scale commercial debt financing.”
Speaking on behalf of responsAbility, Antonia Schaeli, Senior Investment Officer, Energy Debt Financing, said: “responsAbility-managed funds have been financing companies in the energy access space since 2015. We are pleased to support a successful pioneer like d.light in further scaling up their businesses and serve ever more clients with affordable, reliable and sustainable energy solutions.”
About d.light design (www.dlight.com) Founded in 2007 as a forprofit social enterprise, d.light manufactures and distributes awardwinning solar lighting and power products designed to serve the more than 2 billion people globally without access to reliable electricity. Through five distribution hubs in East Africa, West Africa, India, Southeast Asia, and the United States, d.light has impacted over 80 million lives with its products. d.light is dedicated to providing the most reliable, affordable, and accessible solar lighting and power systems for the developing world, with the goal of reaching 100 million people by 2020.
About responsAbility Investments AG (responsAbility.com) responsAbility Investments AG is a leading asset manager in the field of development investments that offers professionally managed investment solutions to private, institutional and public investors. The company supplies debt and equity financing to firms in emerging economies and developing countries, targeting the inclusive finance, renewable energy and sustainable agriculture sectors. responsAbility currently has USD 3 billion of assets under management invested in 540 companies in 90 countries.
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