Fidelity Growth Partners leads $10M funding round in solar lantern co Greenlight Planet

Fidelity Growth Partners India has led a $10 million investment round in US-based Greenlight Planet Inc, a designer and distributor of solar LED home lights, to support the company's distribution expansion plans in India and Southeast Asia.

The deal also saw participation from Deutsche Bank and Seattle-based impact investing firm Global Partnerships. The company had earlier raised $4 million in Series A round in 2012 from Bamboo Finance.

“As a result of this financing, we’re building the world’s largest rooftop solar consumer base in emerging markets, and we’re investing especially to expand distribution in India and Southeast Asia,” said Anish Thakkar, the company’s CEO and co-founder.

“We see tremendous potential to provide affordable solar energy solutions for consumers in emerging markets,” said Kabir Narang, managing director of Fidelity Growth Partners India.

Narang has joined Greenlight Planet’s board as part of the investment.

The company had opened its first office in Mumbai in 2009, and on the back of strong sales since its inception, it expects to reach 100 million off-grid households by 2020.

Greenlight Planet is in the business of distributing solar energy products for off-grid homes in emerging markets and has experienced rapid growth in India and Sub-Saharan Africa, selling over 3 million rooftop solar lighting and phone charging devices reaching over 15 million people living in rural and under-electrified areas.

The company designs Sun King brand of solar lanterns and distributes its products through a growing, direct sales force comprising local community members.

Recently, it launched Sun King Home, styled as a rooftop solar solution for the off-grid house. It provides rooftop solar charging, overhead lighting fixtures for a three-room home and a centralised power station for mobile phones, and plans to add additional household appliances.

In India and Southeast Asia alone, over 800 million people live off the electric grid, spending $4.5 billion annually on kerosene, batteries and candles for light, according to reports published by the IFC.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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