D.light raises $7.5 million in debt financing

The funding comes in the form of debt financing from impact investment manager Developing World Markets

US-based d.light, which sells solar-powered lamps in villages with unreliable or no electricity connections, has raised an additional funding of $7.5 million. The funding comes in the form of debt financing from impact investment manager Developing World Markets.

On 21 September, Mint reported that the company had raised $15 million in equity from KawiSafi Ventures Fund, Energy Access Ventures, NewQuest Capital Partners and Omidyar Network.

More than $5 million has come in grant funding from Shell Foundation, the US Agency for International Development, Development Innovation Ventures and UN Capital Development Fund.

D.light has also raised some debt through SunFunder.

“We believe that capital markets can create positive economic and social change, and that d.light can provide the kind of financial and social returns we seek from our investments," said Peter Johnson, managing partner of Developing World Markets.

With this latest round of debt financing, d.light expects to ramp up sales for its products, in particular of the solar home systems, and also bring new products to market, including solar-powered appliances, such as televisions.

The San Francisco-based company, for which India is the biggest market, also plans to use the funds to expand its distribution network, financing solutions and product portfolio.

India, where d.light first started selling its products a decade ago, contributes to a little more than half of the company’s sales. Sub-Saharan Africa is the solar solutions provider’s other key market.

In India, the company’s product range includes an entry-level solar lamp costing Rs325 and goes up to solar home systems with multiple lights and mobile phone charging, which cost a little more than Rs2,000.

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