Inspired Evolution’s Evolution II fund led the latest round of investment into affordable solar power company d.light. The Africa-focused investment advisory firm, who offers a “specialized clean energy infrastructure and resource efficiency investment advisory platform,” contributed $18 million; FMO, Swedfund, and Norfund contributed $10.6 million, $7.5 million, and $5 million, respectively, for a total $41 million of equity.
d.light was founded in 2007 to provide “affordable solar-powered solutions…for the two billion people in the developing world without access to reliable energy.” They have had considerable success at that mission, selling “over 20 million solar light and power products in 65 countries, improving the lives of over 91 million people” since their inception. Affordable solar solutions remain a prime growth sector in Africa, and the company maintains ambitions of serving 100 million people by 2020 – their range of offerings includes solar lamps, appliances, and home systems, all sold through a network of 30,000-plus outlets.
The deal has potential to expand Inspired Evolution’s already-considerable reach – they have assisted in “developing and financing more than 1,000 MW of renewable energy infrastructure generation projects across Sub-Saharan Africa.” Managing Partner Wayne Keast expressed excitement at the opportunity to partner with d.light. “This new capital and receivable funding will provide innovative financing for solar power products to a vast number of previously unbanked people in emerging and growth markets,” said Keast. He estimated that their Pay-Go solar business will ultimately “help address the needs of more than 600 million people that do not have access to electricity.”
Solar has long been a prime channel for investing in Africa, and d.light’s strong growth rates and market share have helped it raise $100 million in equity and debt financing – the latest round facilitated several successful exits for early investors. The influx of capital will allow d.light to continue expanding its business, said CEO and co-founder Ned Tozun: “The Inspired Evolution team’s energy expertise, strong network and investor base adds significant value to the work of d.light, allowing us to expand our product line, launch in new markets, and reach more customers,” he elaborated. As solar infrastructure continues to develop across Africa, d.light is primed to continue their sterling track record while their investors stand to reap substantial returns.