Impact Investing in Alternative Energy Enterprises

With our vested interest in alternative energy and emerging markets, we are always excited to see startups in and out of the portfolio recognized for their efforts, whether that’s through finding an investor match of simply receiving credit on well-respected publications. Below are some of the exciting developments in the alternative energy startup space over the past few weeks.

Ghana-Based Renewable Energy Startup Acquired in an Estimated 7-Figure Deal by Shea Gunther on Mother Nature Network

Impact Energies has been acquired by Persistent Energy Partners, a party to the former E+Co.. Impact Energies works to supply “nano-loans” for small-scale solar systems, like solar lanterns in Ghana. It is estimated that the value of the acquisition was seven figures, which is an indicator of the increased value of small-scale solar companies in underserved markets.

M-Kopa Solar Secures Sh1.7B in Funding to Reach 1 Million Homes by Ken Macharia on Capital Digital Media

A new solar model is proving to be successful with consumers as well as investors in Kenya. M-Kopa Solar, a solar system that specializes in supplying renewable energy to off grid households, has secured a Ksh 1.72 billion debt facility (almost $20M USD) from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation among others. In addition, M-KOPA Solar is partnering with Safaricom to expand payment options through M-PESA.

d.light Announces $11 Million Series C Financing, Expands Board of Directors on Marketwire

For-profit social enterprise d.light has announced the completion of an $11 million Series C financing. The company manufactures and distributes solar lighting and power products in the developing world. With a compilation of large impact investors contributing to their funding, d.light has raised a total of $40 million in capital from some of the biggest name investors in impact investing, including Acumen Fund and Omidyar Network.

New Financing Models Bring Greener Products to Developing Countries by Lindsay Clinton on The Guardian

Our portfolio company, Simpa Networks, which raised $2M from Asian Development Bank and others last year, has built its brand around innovative product financing that makes solar energy affordable to BoP consumers. After a small initial down payment for the solar system, customers activate the system in small incremental payments until the full price is paid off and the energy is free for the rest of its life. Based on this method of “solar leases”, Simpa Networks is able to deliver reliable renewable energy to low-income households and maintain a sustainable business model. We’re pleased to see Simpa recognized for its innovation on global platforms like The Guardian.