TechInAfrica – SolarNow, a Ugandan based company that is dedicated to provide access to clean energy and financing solutions in sub-Saharan Africa, has secured a US$6 million debt facility to help quench the thirst of Uganda’s population who lack access to electricity. This facility has come in handy to help serve the increasing number of clients as well as expand the access to pay-as- you-go Solar Power.
The facility is led by SunFunder, a solar finance business based in Washington DC and Nairobi, Kenya, whose mission is to unlatch capital for solar energy in emerging markets, in areas where a large number of people live with limited or no access to reliable electricity. responseAbility Investments AG and Oikocredit has also participated in securing this facility.
SolarNow, which manufactures and sells solar home systems to rural households and businesses in Uganda, has been previously profiled by Disrupt Africa. It gives a 24-month credit facility to its customers, in order to make it affordable for them. This US$6 million facility is the second structured asset finance instrument to be secured by SolarNow, an arrangement by SunFunder and a fifth overall transaction between the two. SolarNow chief executive officer, Willem Nohens said that they are excited to continue building their prolific relationship with SunFunder. So far, that relationship has allowed SolarNow to focus entirely on profitability and growth which has allowed them reach more than 25,000 clients.
This new step will enable SolarNow to come to grips with the immense unfulfilled market opportunity across East Africa of providing an innovative off-grid solar solution to households and financing solution to their customers. Ryan Levinson, SunFunder CEO said that customers like SolarNow were in need of financial options that are more scalable and less time consuming to enable them focus on their unique business of delivering solar energy in Uganda and across East Africa.
SolarNow started operating in Uganda in May 2011 and has been addressing the lack of access to energy across the country by providing solar solutions, financing solutions that allows a customer to pay for the system in 18 months installments as well as a two-year warranty. Due to lack of electricity in many parts of the region, SolarNow has had a great opportunity of providing high quality home systems and ensuring that rural areas also get to enjoy high quality power which is pocket friendly. With the US$6 million debt facility, SolarNow is predicted to impact over 3.8 million lives across East Africa by 2018.