KENYA – Solar kits company d.light, has raised 11.9 million to power its expansion in Kenya as it eyes a bigger share of the solar energy market.

Delhi based d.light design, which provides affordable lighting and power solutions raised the funds from Norfund, the Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing Countries, through its capital raising vehicle Brighter Life Kenya 1 Limited (BLK1).

“BLK1 has been structured to provide d.light Kenya with local currency financing equivalent of US$127 million in face value of receivables purchased over a two-year commitment period and is intended as the first in a series of vehicles designed to provide d.light with continuing access to sustainable and affordable local currency receivable financing,” said the solar firm in a statement.

d.light Design markets a series of solar LED lights which are designed as an affordable alternative to kerosene lanterns.

The product is targeted at off-grid customers in rural areas, with a price ranging from US$9.12 to US$18.25.

“Kenya, like most African countries, has high potential for solar energy generation given high radiation levels from the sun throughout the year”

Buoyed by success of pioneer peers, more off-grid solar power startups are pouring into Kenya’s rural areas offering pay-as-you-go kits in a race to claim customers who lack reliable access to electricity.

Venture capital funds have consequently been stepping up their investments in the clean and renewable energy space in Kenya.

The investments have coincided with the growth of the Kenyan solar kits market which has attracted multinationals like Indian firm Orb Energy and Germany-based Mobisol as well as local company M-Kopa.

The main challenge facing smaller companies however is how to raise enough capital to supply the expensive solar kits in return for small upfront payments from customers.

Solar experts reckon that Kenya, like most African countries, has high potential for solar energy generation given high radiation levels from the sun throughout the year.

Through its four hubs in Africa, China, South Asia and the United States, d.light has sold over 20 million solar light and power products in 70 countries, improving the lives of over 100 million people.

The company is dedicated to providing the most reliable, affordable and accessible solar lighting and power systems for the developing world.

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