News
SolarHome raises US$10 million in debt financing, targets 100,000  off-grid households in Myanmar by the end of 2019
SolarHome raises US$10 million in debt financing, targets 100,000 off-grid households in Myanmar by the end of 2019

SINGAPORE, December 5, 2018 -- SolarHome, a pioneer in Pay-As-You-Go  solar for off-grid households in Southeast Asia, has raised US$10 million in debt financing from a consortium of international investors, including Crowdcredit, a cross-border crowdfunding platform based in Japan, and Trine, a Sweden-based crowdfunding platform for off-grid solar. The investment follows on the US$4.2 million in convertible note funding raised in 2018 from international investors, including Trirec,  Insitor Impact Asia, Beenext, and a group of Singapore-based family offices.

The new funds will enable SolarHome, which has already installed close to 28,000 solar home systems, to accelerate expansion across Myanmar. Through this expansion, the company aims to reach 100,000 homes with its product packages that include budget, basic and premium solar system bundles for lighting and phone charging purposes, as well as TV bundles.

Ted Martynov, chief executive officer and co-founder of SolarHome, said, “Accessing debt finance on such a scale at this stage in our development has significantly outperformed our expectations. We believe this is a testament to the strength of our professional team, and the relentless focus on operational quality that we bring to the PAYG space in Southeast Asia.  The new funding will enable us to accelerate our growth in 2019 and bring clean energy to hundreds of thousands of off-grid households in Myanmar.”  

This additional funding represents another important step in the ongoing growth story of SolarHome.  The company was founded by FORUM, the Singapore-based largest fintech venture builder in Emerging Asia. SolarHome was recently recognised in CleanTech’s APAC 25 list alongside such regional innovation leaders as Grab, Didi, and Gogoro.

The company has added three new premium products in the last quarter. This product expansion is in line with the company’s aim to impact the overall livelihoods and financial inclusion of those living off-grid in rural Myanmar. SolarHome goes beyond just meeting the customer’s energy needs, but also helps them establish  credit histories essential to ultimately accessing financial services and rising up the socio-economic ladder.

Since launching in 2017, SolarHome has established itself as the market leader in PAYG solar systems in Myanmar, installing new systems at a rate of approximately 3,000 units each month. 

 

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About SolarHome

SolarHome is the pioneer in Pay-As-You-Go (“PAYG”) Solar for off-grid households in Southeast Asia.  SolarHome installs the IFC-World Bank’s Lighting Global certified integrated solar energy and appliance units in customers’ homes and offers radically affordable “rent-to-own” plans of energy service subscription. This dramatically lowers the barriers to adoption of solar technology by the bottom-of-pyramid clients. SolarHome is delivering a significant social impact in its addressable market of 27 million households across Southeast Asia living outside of the electric grid. Headquartered in Singapore, SolarHome presently operates in Myanmar. SolarHome was seeded and developed by FORUM, the leading fintech venture builder in Emerging Asia.

 

About FORUM

FORUM the largest fintech venture builder in the Asian emerging markets.  FORUM identifies unique opportunities and builds market-leading fintech companies with seasoned CEOs/co-founders. FORUM’s deep expertise in retail financial services enables a hands-on approach, providing its ventures not only seed capital but also ideation, strategic & financial planning, fundraising, recruitment, and communications.  FORUM and its companies currently provide employment to close to 700 people and serve more than 6.3 million B2C and 70 B2B clients across 18 countries.  Founded in 2015, FORUM is headquartered in Singapore

 Lucky Draw Winners From Thanks-4-Repaying Program by SolarHome Have Emerged In Ayeyarwaddy and Magway Divisions
Lucky Draw Winners From Thanks-4-Repaying Program by SolarHome Have Emerged In Ayeyarwaddy and Magway Divisions

Yangon, November 5, 2018- SolarHome, the pioneer in Pay-As-You-Go ("PAYG") solar for off-grid households in Southeast Asia, has completed their “Thanks-4-Repaying” program.  Through this promotional program, farmers from Ayeyarwaddy and Magway divisions have won motorcycles via a lucky draw.

All SolarHome customers who installed a solar home system through the end of September month earned a chance to participate.  The winners included Ma Yin Nu, from small village in Magway division, Daw Thida also from Magway Division, and U Myint Oo from Wakema township in Ayeyarwaddy division.  They paid for safe and affordable light and ended up winning a motorbike as well!

For those who live in Myanmar rural area, motorcycle is the main form of transportation. For this reason, SolarHome chose to provide the new motorcycles as lucky draw prizes for their promotion. The SolarHome team members went to the winners’ home to give them the motorcycle and the necessary winner’s documentation.

“We stay at the farm that is far from the village. We used to use battery for light. But the battery isn’t good after half a year and so, we need to buy new ones frequently. Moreover, we needed to travel back to the village battery shop to charge it every day. We spent time and fuel, and then we had to carry them to field. But now, we are happy with our new SolarHome solar system. And I`m super pleased to win this motorcycle on top,” said U Myint Oo, lucky draw winner from Paittar Lay village in Ayeyarwaddy.

 

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About SolarHome

SolarHome is the pioneer in Pay-As-You-Go (“PAYG”) Solar for off-grid households in Southeast Asia.  SolarHome installs the IFC-World Bank’s Lighting Global certified integrated solar energy and appliance units in customers’ homes and offers radically affordable “rent-to-own” plans of energy service subscription. This dramatically lowers the barriers to adoption of solar technology by the bottom-of-pyramid clients. SolarHome is delivering a significant social impact in its addressable market of 27 million households across Southeast Asia living outside of the electric grid. Headquartered in Singapore, SolarHome presently operates in Myanmar. SolarHome was seeded and developed by FORUM, a leading fintech venture builder in Emerging Asia.

 

SolarHome tops USD5 million in funding after latest investment from impact VC Insitor Impact Asia Fund
SolarHome tops USD5 million in funding after latest investment from impact VC Insitor Impact Asia Fund

SINGAPORE, JULY 31, 2018 -- SolarHome, a pioneer in Pay-As-You-Go ("PAYG") solar for off-grid households in Southeast Asia, has raised USD5 million to date after closing a USD1 million convertible note offering with impact venture capital firm Insitor Impact Asia Fund.

Bradley Kopsick, Myanmar country manager at Insitor, said, “SolarHome impressed us with their strong growth trajectory over the past 15 months, reaching more than 15,000 households in Myanmar while maintaining high portfolio quality. The company is a natural fit to our current microfinance and renewable energy portfolios. Moving forward, we see valuable synergies between SolarHome and our existing investments and networks that will help to accelerate its strategy to grow and gain a firm foothold in the Southeast Asia region.”

Ted Martynov, chief executive officer and co-founder of SolarHome, said, “We are pleased to welcome one of the most seasoned investors in this space. Insitor is one of the few regional funds that has an on the ground presence in Myanmar and an intricate understanding of rural Myanmar. With this round, SolarHome is on track to hit EBITDA breakeven by end of this year, after which we will see significantly lower reliance on equity capital to finance our operations.”

SolarHome will use the new funds to extend its network of hubs throughout Myanmar, move into offering more premium products, and to expand into Indonesia and Cambodia by year end. The company currently distributes its off-grid systems via 19 sales hubs across central Myanmar and has installed more than 15,000 homes with its systems. SolarHome provides employment to over 350 employees that includes an extensive team of field sales representatives and installers. 

The PAYG model leverages a growing trend in rural communities where through commonly available mobile phones, consumers make regular payments on their mobiles to top up their solar home systems for up to two years, after which the system is “unlocked” and transferred to the consumer. This “rent-to-own” model provides customers access to financing that would not otherwise be available and increases the affordability of quality off-grid solar solutions.

SolarHome works with international development finance institutions in Myanmar to raise awareness and educate rural communities about the socio-economic and environmental benefits of PAYG solar. The Lighting Myanmar platform, co-founded by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the World Bank, is one such education initiative. Bill Gallery, program manager for IFC’s Lighting Myanmar program, said, “IFC is very pleased to be working with SolarHome as one of our partners under the Lighting Myanmar project to provide sustainable energy solutions to the people of Myanmar. With our deep expertise and experience in other developing countries facing significant electricity gaps, we will help SolarHome and other developers grow a commercial and sustainable market for quality off-grid solar products in Myanmar that will eventually bring affordable and reliable power to communities in rural and remote areas.”

 

SolarHome is led by an international leadership team with extensive experience and a proven track record in inclusive consumer finance in emerging markets. The company counts notable venture capital firms such as TRIREC, BeeNext and Uberis Capital, and distinguished angel investors, including Singaporean businessman Koh Boon Hwee, among its investors.

 

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About SolarHome

SolarHome is the pioneer in Pay-As-You-Go (“PAYG”) Solar for off-grid households in Southeast Asia.  SolarHome installs the IFC-World Bank’s Lighting Global certified integrated solar energy and appliance units in customers’ homes and offers radically affordable “rent-to-own” plans of energy service subscription. This dramatically lowers the barriers to adoption of solar technology by the bottom-of-pyramid clients. SolarHome is delivering a significant social impact in its addressable market of 27 million households across Southeast Asia living outside of the electric grid. Headquartered in Singapore, SolarHome presently operates in Myanmar. SolarHome was seeded and developed by FORUM, a leading fintech venture builder in Emerging Asia.

 

About INSITOR  IMPACT ASIA FUND PTE LTD

Insitor Impact Asia Fund is a social venture capital fund that provides financing to social businesses in emerging and frontier markets. Insitor supports early stage companies that have the potential to improve the living standards of low-income communities. The fund focuses on a number of development sectors in Myanmar: renewable energy, nutrition, water and sanitation, financial inclusion, education, and livelihood enhancement. The fund also invests in Cambodia, India, and Pakistan. Visit www.insitorimpactasiafund.com to learn more.

 

 

About FORUM

FORUM is the largest fintech venture builder in Emerging Asia.  FORUM identifies unique market segments for rapid value creation and builds market-leading companies for capital gain. FORUM is currently  developing  four market-leading companies across Asia: CredoLabAsiaCollectSolarHome and AsiaKredit.  The company is headquartered in Singapore and led by founder and CEO Greg Krasnov.

SolarHome raises USD2 million in second tranche of convertible notes
SolarHome raises USD2 million in second tranche of convertible notes

SINGAPORE, JUNE 5, 2018 -- SolarHome, a pioneer in Pay-As-You-Go ("PAYG") solar for off-grid households in Southeast Asia, announced today that it has raised USD2 million in its second convertible debt offering this year, from TRIREC, a Singapore-based investment holding company specialising in cleantech and renewable energy.

SolarHome offers off-grid households a solar lighting system at a low-cost 24-month subscription plan, with an initial USD10 down payment, followed by daily, weekly, or monthly repayments through scratch cards or mobile money. Technology built into the system ensures that it won’t function if a payment is not made, giving lenders the confidence that they will be able to recover their investment.

After completing the payment plan, the system is “unlocked’ and transferred to the customer. This “rent-to-own” model provides customers access to financing that would not otherwise be available and increases the affordability of quality off-grid solar solutions. 

Melvyn Yeo, co-founder and partner at TRIREC, said, “SolarHome is a good fit for TRIREC and a natural addition to our renewables portfolio. There are close to 30 million households in Southeast Asia living off-grid, spending an estimated USD2 billion a year on legacy energy sources. SolarHome has secured a significant first-mover advantage in the space, demonstrating exponential growth while maintaining portfolio quality. There’s great synergy too between SolarHome and our existing portfolio and networks; we believe the partnership will help SolarHome secure access to competitive sources of debt capital and scale rapidly within and outside Myanmar.”

In just over a year since its 250-home pilot, SolarHome has expanded distribution to over 14 hubs and installed over 11,000 homes with its off-grid systems. SolarHome employs over 200 field sales representatives and installers and is adding up to 35 workers per month to its sales force in Myanmar.

The new investment will support plans to bring reliable, affordable and clean energy to more than 40,000 homes in rural Myanmar by the end of 2018. Specifically, SolarHome will rapidly increase distribution throughout Myanmar, advance its mobile money platform, as well as expand its product range to more premium products, including systems with bundled television sets. The company also plans to establish presence in Cambodia, Indonesia, and the Philippines by the end of this year.

 “We are excited to have TRIREC on board. Melvyn and his team bring with them deep expertise in renewables and financial services, both of which lie at the heart of SolarHome’s business model,” said Ted Martynov, chief executive officer and co-founder of SolarHome.  

“Moreover, we are thrilled by the interest from the investor community for our forthcoming Series B round. This is our second convertible offering since the start of the year and we are pleased to see investors leveraging the convertible rounds as opportunities to secure sizeable allocations in our next equity raise.”

A recent report by the World Bank Group’s Lighting Global Program and the Global Off-Grid Lighting Association (GOGLA)[1] found that between 2012 and 2017, companies using the PAYG model accounted for about 85 per cent of growth in off-grid solar investments. The World Bank and GOGLA also predict that PAYG will continue fuelling the growth of solar home systems through 2022. 

SolarHome’s leadership team, led by CEO Ted Martynov and strategically supported by fintech venture builder FORUM, is comprised of individuals with extensive international experience, world-class expertise, and a proven track record in inclusive consumer finance. SolarHome has raised over USD4 million to date.                       

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About SolarHome

SolarHome is the pioneer in Pay-As-You-Go (“PAYG”) Solar for off-grid households in Southeast Asia.  SolarHome installs the IFC-World Bank’s Lighting Global certified integrated solar energy and appliance units in customers’ homes and offers radically affordable “rent-to-own” plans of energy service subscription. This dramatically lowers the barriers to adoption of solar technology by the bottom-of-pyramid clients. SolarHome is delivering a significant social impact in its addressable market of 27 million households across Southeast Asia living outside of the electric grid. Headquartered in Singapore, SolarHome presently operates in Myanmar. SolarHome was seeded and developed by FORUM, a leading fintech venture builder in Emerging Asia.

 

ABOUT TRIREC

TRIREC Pte Ltd is a Singapore-based investment holding company founded in 2015 focusing on global opportunities in the areas of renewable energy, clean technology and sustainability. TRIREC aims to identify suitable equity investment opportunities in early and growth stage companies which can potentially provide significant long-term upside return performance. The team also evaluates infrastructure investment projects that can provide consistent cash flows to its investors. The full spectrum of TRIREC’s investment mandate allows it to support its portfolio partners from early stage development to capital market phase and provides a balanced approach for TRIREC’s investment returns. Achieving long term sustainable and positive impact to our environment while being able to leave behind a better place for our next generation is imperative to our core values.

 



[1] Source: https://www.lightingglobal.org/resource/2018-global-off-grid-solar-market-trends-report/

SolarHome appoints Kate Ladyzhenska as a Chief sales officer
SolarHome appoints Kate Ladyzhenska as a Chief sales officer

Yangon, 4th May, 2018: SolarHome is proud to announce the newest addition to our team, Kate Ladyzhenska!

Kate joins our team as chief sales officer, bringing with her more than 18 years of sales and marketing experience in the consumer finance and technology sectors. Kate will manage SolarHome's 200+ sales organisation and drive the expansion of our hub network in Myanmar.

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About SolarHome

SolarHome is the pioneer in Pay-As-You-Go (“PAYG”) Solar for off-grid households in Southeast Asia.  SolarHome installs  IFC-World Bank’s Lighting Global certified integrated solar energy and appliance units in customers’ homes, and offers radically affordable “rent-to-own” plans of energy service subscription.  This dramatically lowers the barriers to adoption of solar technology by the bottom-of-pyramid clients.  SolarHome is delivering a significant social impact in its addressable market of 27 million households across Southeast Asia living outside of the electric grid.   Headquartered in Singapore, SolarHome presently operates in Myanmar.  SolarHome was seeded and developed by FORUM, a leading fintech venture builder in Emerging Asia.