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Private equity consortium backs d.Light with $22.5mln

d.light, the solar lighting and power products company with operations in Africa and Asia has landed $22.5 million in financing from a consortium including private equity investors including KawiSafi Ventures Fund, Energy Access Ventures, Omidyar Network and NewQuest Capital Partners.

The financing was made up of a $15 million Series ‘D’ round as well as $2.5 million in debt funding raised through SunFunder, a solar finance business based in San Francisco and Tanzania. The balance of the financing comes in the form of $5 million in grants from the Shell Foundation, the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Development Innovation Ventures arm and the United Nations Capital Development Fund.

As part of the deal, Michael Gera, Energy Access Ventures’ Managing Partner will be joining the d.light board. Commenting on the financing round he said “Energy Access Ventures works closely with companies bringing reliable energy access to rural and peri-urban areas, and d.light is the perfect addition to our portfolio. This is our largest investment to date, and we wholeheartedly believe in d.light’s efforts to raise more people up the energy access ladder.”

The capital will be used to help d.light ramp up sales for its D30 solar home system and bring additional products to market that will power other appliances such as televisions and fans.  The company, which was founded in 2006, has earned significant share in the markets in which it operates, selling hundreds of thousands of units per month and impacting the lives of over 65 million people.

“Consumer financing for solar home systems makes the technology significantly more affordable for our customers,” said d.light’s Chief Financial Officer Kamal Lath. “This funding will enable more families and business owners to enjoy access to the affordable, clean and reliable solar energy solutions they need to improve their quality of life.”

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