African Union launches s 

Thursday, October 19, 2017 

SolarNow gets $6M off grid financing cash

KAMPALA, UGANDA- -Leading off-grid solar company SolarNow and investors SunFunder, Oikocredit and responsibility Investments have announced that they have received  a new syndicated  financing facility amounting to $6 million.

 “We are thrilled to continue building our fruitful relationship with SunFunder. So far, it has allowed us to focus entirely on our growth and profitability reaching more than 25,000 clients. 

“This new step of our partnership will enable us to continue tackling the massive unmet market opportunity in East Africa of providing affordable energy to millions of off-grid households, and to reach 70% of Uganda’s off-grid population with solar home systems,” said  Willem Nolens, the SolarNow Chief Executive Officer.

 Structured as a bankruptcy-remote special purpose vehicle, the facility will enable SolarNow to deploy solar home systems to a broad section of Uganda’s off-grid population by offering credit to end users.

The $6 million facility is SolarNow’s second structured asset finance instrument, known as SAFI, arranged by SunFunder. 

SAFI is a bankruptcy-remote special purpose vehicle designed for solar companies deploying systems through pay-as-you-go and solar leasing models in developing countries. It enables them to expand their offerings and reach more people living without access to energy.

 “Our customers need more scalable, less time-consuming financing options so they can focus on their core business delivering solar energy. By leading syndications, SunFunder offers solar companies larger ticket size loans with less hassle. We are delighted to build on our long-standing relationship with SolarNow and bring in additional investors,” said Ryan Levinson, SunFunder Chief Executive Officer.

The syndication was led by SunFunder, with each lender providing $2 million to the facility. While it is SolarNow’s second SAFI transaction, it represents the first syndicated SAFI in the market. 

SunFunder, acting as the Arranger, Lender and Facility Agent, arranged the $6m facility with social investor Oikocredit and an energy fund focusing on energy access and managed by responsAbility Investments as co-investors.

SolarNow and SunFunder have now completed five transactions together, tracking the growth of the sector itself from humble origins to larger and increasingly sophisticated deployments.

Speaking on behalf of responsAbility, Stefan Issler, Head Direct Investments, Energy Debt Financing, underlined: “Access to energy is a core topic when it comes to developing economies. By channeling financing to companies like SolarNow, we actively develop markets and infrastructure, thereby addressing the basic needs of broad sections of the population.”

Maite Pina, renewable energy finance specialist at Oikocredit, says, “With this securitization Oikocredit demonstrates its commitment to supporting SolarNow and off-grid solar in the long-term. We see SolarNow as a company that prioritises its customers in order to meet their needs with the right solar products and services. It is also important to us that SolarNow aims to contribute towards Uganda’s development and economy.”

By EABW REPORTER, Thursday, October 19th, 2017