Singapore-based solar energy startup SolarHome has announced raising $2 million via a convertible offering, its second this year, from cleantech and renewable energy-focused investment holding company TRIREC.
The first convertible offering raised $1.2 million for SolarHome this February.
The latest funding will help SolarHome expand its customer base to more than 40,000 homes in rural Myanmar by the end of 2018, the startup said. It also aims to establish a presence in Cambodia, Indonesia and the Philippines by end of this year.
Beyond regional expansion, SolarHome will also use the funding to increase its pay-as-you-go (PAYG) solar distribution network throughout Myanmar, advance its mobile money platform and expand its product range to more premium products, including systems with bundled television sets.
In an email interaction with DEALSTREETASIA, Solarhome co-founder and CEO Ted Martynov said that the startup is planning to secure a $4-million Series B round and aims to break even by the third quarter this year.
“We are thrilled by the interest from the investor community for our forthcoming Series B round. This is our second convertible offering since the start of the year and we are pleased to see investors leveraging the convertible rounds as opportunities to secure sizeable allocations in our next equity raise,” he said.
Founded in January 2017 and backed by fintech venture builder FORUM, SolarHome has raised a total of $4 million to date. Its solar distribution network has expanded to over 14 hubs and its off-grid system has been installed in over 11,000 homes.
The World Bank Group’s Lighting Global Program and the Global Off-Grid Lighting Association (GOGLA) found that between 2012 and 2017, companies using the PAYG model accounted for about 85 per cent of growth in off-grid solar investments. The PAYG model is expected to continue fuelling the growth of solar home systems through 2022.
“SolarHome is a good fit for TRIREC and a natural addition to our renewables portfolio. There are close to 30 million households in Southeast Asia living off-grid, spending an estimated $2 billion a year on legacy energy sources.
“There’s great synergy too between SolarHome and our existing portfolio and networks; we believe the partnership will help SolarHome secure access to competitive sources of debt capital and scale rapidly within and outside Myanmar,” said TRICEC co-founder and partner Melvyn Yeo.