India: Orb Energy raises $15m in equity, debt to expand operations

Bengaluru-based renewable energy firm Orb Energy has raised over $15 million through a mix of equity and debt.

As part of this round, the Netherlands Development Finance Company (FMO) provided $4 million in equity, and Orb signed a loan agreement with the United States development finance institution Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) for $10 million in long-term debt.

According to an official statement, the solar energy firm plans to use this latest funding for growth of Orb’s in-house platform in India that provides finance to small- and medium-sized enterprises looking to reduce electricity costs through ownership of a rooftop solar system.

“The new funding now positions Orb for profitable growth in the rooftop solar sector in India. Orb expects its 15MW in annual rooftop solar system sales in FY 17-18 to more than triple in the near future, growing to 50MW annually by FY 19-20,” the company said.

Indian renewable energy space has gained tremendous interest from investors. Recently, leading Indian renewable energy firm ReNew Power Ventures Pvt. Ltd raised Rs 2,235 crore ($352 million) through two non-convertible debt issues,

Last month, Waaree Energies Ltd, an integrated solar power solutions company, raised Rs100 crore from Centrum Financial Services Ltd, the non-banking finance arm of the Centrum Group, and a South-East-Asia-based private equity fund.

Founded in 2006, Orb Energy is a provider of solar energy systems, and claims to have sold with more than 150,000 systems with cumulative installations of more than 30MW of rooftop solar systems. Orb is vertically integrated, manufacturing its own solar photovoltaic modules and solar water heating systems in Bengaluru.

In 2015, FMO had put in $2 million in Orb Energy. Its other investors include Bamboo Capital Partners, Rianta Capital, Acumen Capital Market Funds I, and Pamiga SA.

Additionally, Orb has also successfully raised over $1 million for its solar operations in Kenya. Pamiga, an investor in African finance institutions and small- to medium-sized enterprises, provided $500,000 in equity, and $550,000 came from DEG – Germany’s development finance institution – using funds from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (BMZ) Upscaling Programme.

Orb plans to use these funds to further expand its residential and commercial solar business in Kenya, where it claims to have sold more than 10,000 systems since 2014.

Also Read:

India: IFC proposes $50m investment in Mahindra Renewables’ solar PV plant

India: Waaree Energies raises $15.6m from Centrum Financial, global PE fund