Forum Capital-backed SolarHome to invest $25m in Myanmar over five years

Photo: SolarHome.

Southeast Asia-focussed SolarHome, a provider of solar energy for rural off-grid households, is looking at investing up to $25 million in Myanmar over the next five years, Phoo Pyae Pyae Soe, head of communications, said.

It is currently targeting to raise and invest up to $1.5 million in Myanmar in 2018. SolarHome – which also has operations in the Philippines, Cambodia and Indonesia – has already invested $400,000 in Myanmar.

Founded in 2016, SolarHome is seed funded and venture built by Singapore-based Forum Capital,  an investment and strategic advisory firm specialising in venture building and supporting growth companies in developing markets.

It is currently engaged in its pilot project on basic lighting which allows villagers around Pathein and Ayeyarwaddy to purchase solar system through a micro financing scheme.

“For the basic lighting product, we offer our customer with K10,000 down payment and a monthly payment of K9000 for 2 years. After two years, customers will have the ownership. We will provide free installation, and repair with a two year warranty period,” said Soe.

SolarHome uses the microfinance structure, Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG), which allows users to pay a monthly fees comparable to their current expenditure on legacy energy sources.

Solar Home expects to install up to 2,500 systems in 2017. The firm is  under discussions on integrating the payment system with local mobile money providers.

Some of the ventures built by Forum Capital include Singapore-headquartered Credolab, a digital-age risk management firm; AsiaCollect, a consumer debt collection company; and Kwamb.io, a Boston-based early stage tech company operating in the 3D printing industry. Greg Krasnov, founder and managing director of Forum Capital, is the chairman of SolarHome.

According to data compiled by IFC,  only 32 per cent of Myanmar is connected to the power grid. In June 2016, IFC led the lighting Myanmar project, a key part of the National Electrification Plan of Myanmar. With an aim to achieve universal access to sustainable electricity services by 2030, the project will be assisting international and Myanmar-based companies in creating a sustainable market for high-quality off-grid energy solutions.

The Myanmar government has recently approved a $480-million investment by New York-based Convalt Energy, a portfolio company of ACO Investment Group, for the construction of two $150 MW solar power plants in Mandalay.

Green Earth Power from Thailand has also been approved for investment of a 210MW solar power plant with a project value of $275 million.

Also Read:

Myanmar Digest: US Convalt to invest $480m; Two Hilton hotels coming up

US Quasar Resources looks to invest up to $400 m in Myanmar power sector

Myanmar Dealbook: Industrial estate developer Amata to enter Myanmar; Thailand and Singapore to invest $400m in solar parks

 

Singapore Reporter/s

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.