Simpa Networks announces commercial debt financing to scale up its clean electricity solutions in rural India


BANGALORE – 17 December 2014 – Simpa, which sells solar-as-a-service to energy-poor households and micro-enterprises in rural India, today announced that it has completed a $4 million debt financing round. The financing has been provided by Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government’s development finance institution, and by GDF Suez through their Rassembleurs d’Energies program.

An estimated 400 million people in rural India still do not have access to an electricity grid. Distributed solar-powered electricity systems are dramatically improving the quality of life for energy-poor families and promoting economic activity by enabling small businesses to extend their working days.

“Rural India is rising, and we are creating new opportunities to invest in its growth”, said Paul Needham, President and Co-Founder of Simpa Networks. “This new debt investment, the first of its kind in India, will help us scale our for-profit solution to the problem of energy-poverty. It validates our model and proves a pathway to mobilize commercial debt capital at scale. Clean electricity for rising rural India is an investible proposition.” Simpa operates in rural Uttar Pradesh, an Indian state with severe power deficit. The new debt facility will enable Simpa to reach 200,000 people with clean, reliable electricity

“Simpa’s inclusive approach to spreading energy access makes them an ideal partner for OPIC’s impact-focused development investment strategy,” said Elizabeth Littlefield, OPIC’s President and CEO. “The kind of technological leap Simpa and like-minded innovators are achieving proves that off-grid, clean energy in emerging markets is not merely viable, but a true opportunity both financially and environmentally.”

“Globally, more than one billion people lack access to modern electricity. We invest in for-profit solutions that can scale to meet this challenge,” said Jérôme Broutin, CFO at GDF Suez Rassembleurs d’Energies. “In Simpa, we have an opportunity to support a growth stage company scale up its impact to reach tens of thousands more people with affordable, clean, renewable electricity.”

About Simpa Networks

Simpa Networks, operating in India as Simpa Energy India, pioneered the solar-as-a-service business model. Simpa customers make a small initial payment to get a solar electric system installed at their home or business. Customers then purchase “energy days” using a prepaid or pay-as-you-go mobile payment system. Upon completion of the contract, customers can take ownership of their systems, getting clean electricity free and clear. The model is enabled by Simpa’s patented technology platform. Since its inception, Simpa has sold over 770,000 energy days, delivered over 65 MWh, created over 2,800 full and part-time jobs in rural India, and saved over 75 tonnes of CO2 emissions.

Simpa is backed by notable international impact investors and development finance
institutions such as the Asian Development Bank, USAID-DIV, IFC, Overseas Private
Investment Corporation (OPIC), the Khosla Impact Fund (Vinod Khosla), Sorenson Impact Foundation (Jim & Krista Sorenson), Schneider Electric, GDF Suez Rassembleurs d’Energies, the HILTI Foundation, the DOEN Foundation, Village Capital and more.


Priya Shah

For further information, please visit
Twitter: @simpanetworks