Sun King, (formerly Greenlight Planet) one of the largest solar companies in Africa and Asia, has today secured $260 million in a Series D funding round led by BeyondNetZero, the climate investing venture of General Atlantic, with participation from M&G Investments’ Catalyst and Arch Emerging Markets Partners
The energy company will use part of the fund to expand its pay-as-you-go solutions, boast its business presence and introduce larger setups that are capable of powering bigger appliances like refrigerators, an upgrade to its current systems that can only power lights, mobile phones, and small home appliances like TVs.
Patrick Walsh and Anish Thakkar founded the company in 2007. It claimed to have sold its products in over 40 countries including Kenya, one of its first markets, where over 18 million people have benefited over 10 years of operations. It also has a presence in Zambia, Uganda, Tanzania, and Nigeria, where it says its customers tripled over the last year.
Walsh said, “This investment in the company marks an incredible inflection point for the global off-grid solar industry.”
“Over the last 15 years, we have delivered solar energy and light to over 82 million people, enabling kids to study for school, helping entrepreneurs run small businesses, and allowing families to power their lives, free from the danger and high cost of kerosene lanterns. This landmark investment allows us to continue scaling our technology, service, and financing capabilities so we can meet the needs of the next billion energy consumers,” he said.
Eli Aheto, managing director, General Atlantic’s climate initiative BeyondNetZero, said “BeyondNetZero is excited to back Sun King, an industry-leading company that offers consumers accessible and affordable solar products, supported by fair and sustainable business practices,” said “We look forward to partnering with the company and its leadership as they bring innovative and affordable off-grid solar products to new markets and continue to grow their meaningful contribution to the global net-zero transition.”
Countries like South Sudan, Burundi, Chad, Malawi, Burkina Faso, Madagascar, and Tanzania are among the least electrified in the world and could benefit from clean energy technologies.
Sun King has previously raised $170 million in equity and debt funding and has so far distributed its home energy systems to over 82 million customers with the potential to double that figure due to its strategic offerings to the sub-Saharan Africa which accounts for 75% of the world’s population with no access to renewable energy solutions and electricity.
“Sun King is leading a global transformation in the way we provide electricity to consumers in Africa and Asia. It’s now dramatically more affordable to power a home with a solar system than to extend the electrical grid: for less than the cost of a single electrical pole, we can install an entire solar energy system in-home. This funding will further unlock our ability to scale this revolution to the 1.8 billion people who need these products today, and the next billion who will need them tomorrow,” said Thakkar.