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d.light raises 10.5mln in equity and grants

Solar lighting and power products company d.light has raised $10.5 million in equity and grants from Norfund, Beyond the Grid and the Shell Foundation. The latest funding brings the total amount raised by the off-grid solar company in the last four months to more than $40 million.

The fresh equity component of the deal, some $5 million, is being led by Norfund, which joins the ranks of d.light’s backers for the first time. Norwegian pension find KLP Norfund Investments is co-investing equity alongside Norfund. The balance of $5.5 million comes in the form of grants from Beyond the Grid, a sub-initiative of the U.S. Government’s Power Africa program and the Shell Foundation, an independent charity established by the Shell Group to create and scale new solutions to global development challenges.

The fresh capital will be used to help d.light continue its strategy of expanding its operations in Africa and Asia to bring clean, off-grid power to low-income families.  Founded in 2006, the company sells and delivers its products through five distribution hubs in East Africa, West Africa, India, South-East Asia and the United States.

In September 2016, a consortium of private equity investors including KawiSafi Ventures Fund, Energy Access Ventures, Omidyar Network and NewQuest Capital Partners, backed d.light with a total of $22.5 million. An additional $7.5 million in debt financing from other investors followed a month later.

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