SolarHome raises USD2 million in second tranche of convertible notes
SINGAPORE, JUNE 5, 2018— SolarHome, a pioneer in Pay-As-You-Go («PAYG») solar for off-grid households in Southeast Asia, announced today that it has raised USD2 million in its second convertible debt offering this year, from TRIREC, a Singapore-based investment holding company specialising in cleantech and renewable energy.
SolarHome offers off-grid households a solar lighting system at a low-cost 24-month subscription plan, with an initial USD10 down payment, followed by daily, weekly, or monthly repayments through scratch cards or mobile money. Technology built into the system ensures that it won’t function if a payment is not made, giving lenders the confidence that they will be able to recover their investment.
After completing the payment plan, the system is “unlocked’ and transferred to the customer. This “rent-to-own” model provides customers access to financing that would not otherwise be available and increases the affordability of quality off-grid solar solutions.
Melvyn Yeo, co-founder and partner at TRIREC, said, “SolarHome is a good fit for TRIREC and a natural addition to our renewables portfolio. There are close to 30 million households in Southeast Asia living off-grid, spending an estimated USD2 billion a year on legacy energy sources. SolarHome has secured a significant first-mover advantage in the space, demonstrating exponential growth while maintaining portfolio quality. There’s great synergy too between SolarHome and our existing portfolio and networks; we believe the partnership will help SolarHome secure access to competitive sources of debt capital and scale rapidly within and outside Myanmar.”
In just over a year since its 250-home pilot, SolarHome has expanded distribution to over 14 hubs and installed over 11,000 homes with its off-grid systems. SolarHome employs over 200 field sales representatives and installers and is adding up to 35 workers per month to its sales force in Myanmar.
The new investment will support plans to bring reliable, affordable and clean energy to more than 40,000 homes in rural Myanmar by the end of 2018. Specifically, SolarHome will rapidly increase distribution throughout Myanmar, advance its mobile money platform, as well as expand its product range to more premium products, including systems with bundled television sets. The company also plans to establish presence in Cambodia, Indonesia, and the Philippines by the end of this year.
“We are excited to have TRIREC on board. Melvyn and his team bring with them deep expertise in renewables and financial services, both of which lie at the heart of SolarHome’s business model,” said Ted Martynov, chief executive officer and co-founder of SolarHome.
“Moreover, we are thrilled by the interest from the investor community for our forthcoming Series B round. This is our second convertible offering since the start of the year and we are pleased to see investors leveraging the convertible rounds as opportunities to secure sizeable allocations in our next equity raise.”
A recent report by the World Bank Group’s Lighting Global Program and the Global Off-Grid Lighting Association (GOGLA) found that between 2012 and 2017, companies using the PAYG model accounted for about 85 per cent of growth in off-grid solar investments. The World Bank and GOGLA also predict that PAYG will continue fuelling the growth of solar home systems through 2022.
SolarHome’s leadership team, led by CEO Ted Martynov and strategically supported by fintech venture builder FORUM, is comprised of individuals with extensive international experience, world-class expertise, and a proven track record in inclusive consumer finance. SolarHome has raised over USD4 million to date.