Singapore: Solar energy startup SolarHome raises $1.2m

Basic Energy

Singapore-headquartered SolarHome, which offers pay-as-you-go (PAYG) solar for off-grid households in Southeast Asia, announced that it had raised another $1.2 million in growth capital via convertible notes to a consortium of backers, including local venture capital firm and return backer Beenext.

Other investors participating in this round include  X Capital Ventures, an investment group focused on seed to Series B ventures, and angel investor Koh Boon Hwee. Koh was formerly chairman of Singapore Telecom, DBS Bank and Singapore Airlines.

In a statement, SolarHome said it will use the fresh capital to expand its PAYG solar product line and distribution networks in Myanmar, and develop a strong underwriting function to supplement a growing balance sheet.

“We have a large target market of eight million households in Myanmar alone, and we are confident this round of capital will enable us to stay on course to bring affordable renewable energy to over 40,000 households by end 2018,” Ted Martynov, chief executive officer and co-founder of SolarHome, said.

Launched in January 2017 and headquartered in Singapore, SolarHome has installed systems in over 4,000 households in the Ayeyarwady Delta region, operating out of seven hubs in Myanmar. It employs over 150 field sales representatives and installers in the country.

“Myanmar is an exciting market for us and SolarHome is in a unique position to capitalise on the massive opportunity set in a country that sits at the intersection of microfinance and energy access,” said Dirk Van Quaquebeke, managing director of Beenext.

A World Bank report quoted by SolarHome said the global PAYG solar industry has attracted over $773 million in funding over the last five years.

SolarHome’s PAYG scheme allows customers to purchase energy tokens for daily, weekly or monthly top-up credits, either through scratch cards or mobile money. The ownership of these systems will be automatically unlocked and transferred to the customer after two years.

SolarHome has raised over $2.3 million in funding to date, having secured its seed capital from FORUM, the largest fintech venture builder in Emerging Asia. The startup secured its first debt funding from online platform lender Kiva in October last year, shortly after having closed an oversubscribed pre-Series A equity funding round of $625,000 led by impact venture capital firm Uberis Capital.

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