A group of international development finance companies and commercial banks, which includes, CDC Group, Citi, Norfund, and Standard Bank Group have joined hands to grant funding worth USD 75 million to the African solar home energy solutions provider, Greenlight Planet Kenya.
This sustainable finance facility provided to Greenlight Planet Kenya will aid them to expand their access to off-grid solar communities throughout Kenya and support its goal to reach an additional 10 million households in the next few years.
American multinational investment bank and financial service provider, Citi served as the Sole Coordinator on the transaction, while South Africa’s Standard Bank acted as the Sustainability Coordinator. Standard Bank will carry out the Foreign Exchange conversion to facilitate the repayment of the loan and aid local currency funding.
UK government’s CDC Group plc and Norwegian private equity company Norfund were the existing investors who participated in the deal. CDC has already invested USD 13 million in March 2020, and Norfund has backed Greenlight Planet Inc. with NOK 130 million (approximately USD 15.5 million) in 2019. International law firm Dentons acted as the legal counsel for the lenders and Power Africa provided legal support and advice to Greenlight Planet.
Last year in September, Greenlight Planet Inc. acquired USD 90 million in debt and equity funding for expanding its pay-as-you-go (PAYG) solar consumer financing business and adding up its debt fund. It received funds from CDC, Norfund, FMO, Global Partnerships, ResponsAbility, SIMA Funds, Symbiotics, and ARCH Emerging Markets Partners’ Africa Renewable Power Fund.
The investment amounting to USD 75 million will be provided in the Kenyan Shilling denomination to help in keeping down Greenlight Planet’s exposure to currency exchange rate fluctuations, facilitating their business and scaling its operations in Kenya, effectively.
The Co-founder of Greenlight Planet, Anish Thakkar commented that the finance facility will allow “hundreds of thousands” of off-grid families to make the switch from kerosene to clean and safe rooftop solar energy.
Greenlight Planet Kenya is a subsidiary of Greenlight Planet Inc, headquartered in Illinois, U.S. which distributes and finances rooftop off-grid solar power systems in Sub-Saharan Africa, Central America, and South Asia. Since its inception in 2009, the company has become a global provider of solar home energy systems in more than 65 countries.
Greenlight Planet designs, distributes and finances Sun King solar home energy systems to households and businesses in rural areas where dependable access to the grid is unavailable. They provide solar energy systems affordable even for the customers with limited savings through its innovative pay-as-you-go technology, EasyBuy that empowers the customers to buy solar products in small installments over time.