Greenlight Planet Inc., a designer and distributor of solar LED home lights, has received $4 million (Rs 20.65 crore) from Bamboo Finance, who manages the Oasis Fund, and Dr PK Sinha, co-founder of ZS Associates, a sales management consultancy firm based in Chicago. The current round of funding follows an earlier investment by Sinha.
Greenlight manufactures low-cost LED lights, aimed to replace kerosene lamps as the dominant indoor light source for the rural population in India and other developing countries.
The company will utilise the proceeds to increase its distribution network and enhance the R&D capabilities.
“Bamboo Finance has a great interest in companies providing underserved communities access to energy. With our prior experience in investing in rural electrification companies, we have found that Greenlight Planet has developed a remarkable business model, which entails the production of high quality products, as well as a unique and scalable distribution method to maximise market penetration. Moreover, the management spends a significant amount of time in the field to better understand the needs of their clients and transforms that understanding into innovative products,” Keith Allman, investment manager of Bamboo Finance, stated in a company release.
With the closing of this investment round, Allman from Bamboo Finance will join Greenlight Planet’s board of directors. The board currently includes Dr PK Sinha and the founders of the company – Mayank Sekhsaria, Anish Thakkar and T. Patrick Walsh.
Last week, Bamboo Finance invested around $3 million in Delhi-based affordable education provider Vienova Education Pvt Ltd.
Earlier, it invested in the affordable hospital chain Vaatsalya and low power consuming ATM maker Vortex Engineering. Bamboo Finance manages the Oasis Fund, a Luxembourg-based investment fund with $250 million under management, and has offices in Bogota, Singapore, San Francisco, Luxembourg and Geneva.
Greenlight Planet designs Sun King brand of solar lanterns and distributes its products through a growing, direct sales force comprising local community members. Besides India, it also caters to African and South-east Asian countries. In Africa, Greenlight has tied up with local distribution companies to sell its products. The company is now planning to expand its domestic distribution network to 18 states in the next two years.
Anish Thakkar, co-founder of Greenlight said, “The key focus is increasing distribution in near term in both our key markets, India and Africa. The company aims to achieve a sales target of 30x-40x in the next two years in these two markets.”