The latest funding, which brings SolarHome’s total funding to date to $5 million, will be used for network expansion across Myanmar, the launch of more premium offerings, and a planned expansion into Indonesia and Cambodia by the year-end, the company said in a statement.
Founded in January 2017 and backed by fintech venture builder FORUM, SolarHome’s distribution network has expanded to over 20 hubs and its off-grid system has been installed in over 15,000 homes.
Its first convertible offering raised about $1.2 million in February while the second one raised more than $2 million, according to the company, which offers Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) solar power to off-grid households in Southeast Asia.
Its ‘rent-to-own’ model provides customers access to financing that would not otherwise be available and increases the affordability of quality off-grid solar solutions, the company said.
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, according to a World Bank report.
“The company is a natural fit to our current microfinance and renewable energy portfolios. Moving forward, we see valuable synergies between SolarHome and our existing investments and networks that will help to accelerate its strategy to grow and gain a firm foothold in the Southeast Asia region,” said Bradley Kopsick, Myanmar country manager at Insitor.
Insitor Impact Asia Fund is a social venture capital fund that provides financing to social businesses in emerging and frontier markets. It supports early-stage companies that have the potential to improve the living standards of low-income communities.