Posted on :Monday , 2nd May 2022
Sun King, one of Africa's and Asia's top solar enterprises, has raised $260 million in series D funding to expand access to off-grid energy technology throughout the two continents.
Sun King (previously Greenlight Planet) intends to invest $100 million in expanding its pay-as-you-go offerings and introducing larger setups capable of powering appliances such as refrigerators. Its present systems are capable of powering lights, cellphones, and small household equipment such as televisions. A portion of the funds will be used to increase the company's reach.
T. Patrick Walsh (CEO) and Anish Thakkar launched the company in 2007. It has sold its goods in more than 40 countries, including Kenya, one of its original markets, where it claims to have helped 18 million people over the course of its ten-year existence. It also has operations in Zambia, Uganda, Tanzania, and Nigeria, where the company claims that its customer base has tripled in the previous year.
â€œThis investment in Sun King marks an incredible inflection point for the global off-grid solar industry,â€ said Walsh.
â€œOver the last 15 years, we have delivered solar energy and light to over 82 million people, enabling kids to study for school, helping entrepreneurs run small businesses, and allowing families to power their lives, free from the danger and high cost of kerosene lanterns. This landmark investment allows us to continue scaling our technology, service and financing capabilities so we can meet the needs of the next billion energy consumers,â€ he said.
BeyondNetZero, General Atlantic's climate investing initiative, led the newest funding round, which also included M&G Investments' Catalyst and Arch Emerging Markets Partners. Sun King has already raised $170 million in loan and equity financing.
â€œBeyondNetZero is excited to back Sun King, an industry-leading company that offers consumers accessible and affordable solar products, supported by fair and sustainable business practices,â€ said Eli Aheto, managing director, General Atlanticâ€™s climate initiative BeyondNetZero.
â€œWe look forward to partnering with the company and its leadership as they bring innovative and affordable off-grid solar products to new markets and continue to grow their meaningful contribution to the global net zero transition,â€ said Aheto. Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for 75% of the worldâ€™s population with no access to renewable energy solutions and electricity. Countries like South Sudan, Burundi, Chad, Malawi, Burkina Faso, Madagascar and Tanzania are among the least electrified in the world and could benefit from clean energy technologies.
Companies like Sun King, which claims to have served over 82 million customers with its home energy systems, are bridging the gap by utilising the PAYGO model, which alleviates the financial burden for low-income families who may not be able to afford the large upfront payments required for grid connections. â€œSun King is leading a global transformation in the way we provide electricity to consumers in Africa and Asia. Itâ€™s now dramatically more affordable to power a home with a solar system than to extend the electrical grid: for less than the cost of a single electrical pole, we can install an entire solar energy system in-home. This funding will further unlock our ability to scale this revolution to the 1.8 billion people who need these products today, and the next billion who will need them tomorrow,â€ said Thakkar.