Solar equipment maker Orb Energy raises $15 mn from OPIC, others

Solar equipment manufacturer Orb Energy Pte. Ltd has raised $15 million (Rs 95 crore) through a combination of equity and debt to bolster its flagship finance platform that helps small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in India to buy rooftop solar systems.

Singapore-headquartered Orb Energy Pte. Ltd is the holding company of Bengaluru-based Orb Energy Pvt Ltd.

The company said that Dutch development bank FMO, an existing investor, put in $4 million via equity, while US government agency Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) provided long-term debt funding of $10 million.

FMO's investment is over and above the $2 million it invested in 2015.

“We see this as a vote of confidence in our unique approach to the solar market in India,” said Orb Energy's chief executive officer Damian Miller

In addition, Orb Energy raised a further $1.05 million for its operations in Kenya. African impact investor Pamiga provided half this amount via equity while DEG, a German development finance institution, put in the rest.

The company said the money will be used to expand its residential and commercial solar business in Kenya, where it began operations in 2014.

Apart from above-mentioned backers, Orb Energy's investors include Bamboo Capital Partners, Rianta Capital, Acumen Funds.

Orb Energy

Orb Energy Pvt. Ltd. was incorporated in 2007 and has two factories in Bengaluru. One produces solar photovoltaic panels while the other makes solar water heaters.

It has installed rooftop solar systems with a cumulative capacity of 30 megawatt.

Orb Energy's net sales rose to Rs 68.58 crore in 2015-16 from Rs 54.19 crore in the previous fiscal, according to VCCEdge, the data intelligence platform of News Corp VCCircle.

The solar equipment space has been gaining attention in India after the government set a renewable energy target of 175 gigawatt capacity by 2022.

Last month, solar module manufacturer Waree Energies Ltd raised Rs 100 crore ($15.6 million) in structured finance from Centrum Financial Services Ltd and a consortium of investors including a global private equity fund.

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