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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.

SolarHome reaches solar 6,000 households in rural Myanmar
SolarHome reaches solar 6,000 households in rural Myanmar

Yangon, April 5, 2018 -  SolarHome, the pioneer in Pay-As-You-Go (“PAYG”) Solar for off-grid households in Southeast Asia, has reached the milestone of 6,000 solar home systems installed in rural areas of Ayeyarwaddy and Dry Zone of Myanmar.

SolarHome started in launched just over a year ago as one of the first companies in Southeast Asia to provide Pay-As-You-Go solar home systems to poor households living off the electrical grid. SolarHome is now present in 12 townships in the Ayeyarwaddy delta area and the Dry Zone.  More than one million people live off-grid in these areas.  Starting from only 5000 MMK per month, SolarHome products are affordable to even the poorest villagers. The systems are designed to deliver affordable clean energy to rural households, using waterproof high-quality panels, long-lasting batteries and unbreakable lamps which can operate in the challenging  rural environments of SEA.  By using only the highest quality products combined with a 2-year warranty and service quality of a high standard, supported by a skilled local, in-house sales team, reliable customer service, SolarHome has differentiated itself from all other solar companies in the market.

“Most of people who start subscribe for our services are living in rural area and have used candles and batteries. For these people we bring affordable and reliable light, phone charging and entertainment. What we do is especially important for families with kids, since they need good quality light to study. We also help villagers to reduce their monthly energy on lighting, because many of them used to spend 5% of their monthly income for having dim, unhealthy and unreliable light from candles or diesel-charged batteries. We also do our best to educate villagers on the potential hazards that candles and batteries impose especially now, in the peak of summer heat. Our mission is to deliver to every Myanmar household the message that with the help of companies like SolarHome renewable solar energy becomes safer, cheaper, cleaner and more reliable than most of the other energy sources available for off-grid households. “said by  Mila Bedrenets , Deputy CEO of Solar Home.

According to the Department of Rural Development data, only 16 percent of Myanmar households in rural areas are connected to the electrical grid. The government launched the National Electrification Plan together with the World Bank and other development agencies, to achieve universal access to reliable electricity by 2030. The plan covers gird off-gird solutions, including PAYG. SolarHome installs over 2,000 solar home systems per month supporting the government’s plan.  SolarHome currently operates a team of 150 sales personal, committed to delivering affordable, clean, and safe solar energy to the people of 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.

SolarHome raises US$1.2 million in convertible note offering
SolarHome raises US$1.2 million in convertible note offering

Yangon, FEBRUARY 23, 2018 -- SolarHome, a pioneer in Pay-As-You-Go ("PAYG") solar for off-grid households in Southeast Asia, has raised another US$1.2 million in growth capital via an issue of convertible notes to a consortium of investors.

Singapore-based venture capital firm Beenext returned to co-invest in this round after participating in SolarHome’s pre-series A equity round in October last year. Other investors participating in this round include an impact-oriented family office; X Capital Ventures, an investment group focused on seed to Series B ventures; and distinguished Singaporean angel investor, Koh Boon Hwee, whose deep expertise and leadership spans across the technology, consumer, and investment sectors. Mr Koh was formerly chairman of Singapore Telecom, DBS Bank and Singapore Airlines.

Dirk Van Quaquebeke, managing director of Beenext, said, “We are thrilled to continue to back SolarHome. Myanmar is an exciting market for us and SolarHome is in a unique position to capitalise on the massive opportunity set in a country that sits at the intersection of microfinance and energy access. The company has scaled very quickly despite operating in a country with significant infrastructural challenges and we believe there is substantial room for technology to drive further efficiency and scale in the business.”

SolarHome has raised over US$2.3 million in funding to date, having secured its seed capital from FORUM, the largest fintech venture builder in Emerging Asia. SolarHome secured its first debt funding from online platform lender Kiva in October last year,  shortly after having closed an oversubscribed pre-Series A equity funding round of US$625,000 led by impact venture capital firm Uberis Capital.

SolarHome will use the new capital to expand its PAYG solar product line and distribution networks in Myanmar, and develop a strong underwriting function to supplement a growing balance sheet. SolarHome currently operates out of seven hubs in Myanmar, employing over 150 field sales representatives and installers. The company has installed systems in over 4,000 households in the Ayeyarwady Delta region in rural Myanmar since its official launch in January 2017 and has been doubling its monthly installation rate in the last six months.

 Ted Martynov, chief executive officer and co-founder of SolarHome, said, “We are very pleased to have a group of reputable and specialised investors come on board this round. As pioneers of the pay-as-you-go model in Southeast Asia, we are eager to draw upon the expertise of our investor base to incorporate best practices in retail, consumer finance and technology that best serve our unique business model.”

“We have a large target market of eight million households in Myanmar alone, and we are confident this round of capital will enable us to stay on course to bring affordable renewable energy to over 40,000 households by end 2018,” added Ted.

According to the World Bank[1], the global PAYG solar industry has attracted over US$773 million in funding over the last five years. The estimated impact of these investments has been far reaching, with approximately US$5.2 billion in economic savings to households as they switch from kerosene and other conventional fuels to off-grid solar devices including PAYG solar.                                                                                                                                                                    
A 2017 United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded study of SolarHome’s operations in Myanmar established that every dollar invested in its systems in the field has brought a four times return in terms of measurable environmental and social benefits. Rural communities have

seen a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, a rise in household savings and income generating activities, improved respiratory and eye health, and have experienced fewer burns and fire incidents.                                                                          

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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 strengthens safety awareness in Bago region
SolarHome strengthens safety awareness in Bago region

Myanmar, February 2, 2017 - SolarHome has donated solar systems to Thinkari orphanage and school in Bago region as part of a community awareness program around the safety hazards of low-quality solar home systems.

The donation comes on the back of a recent fire accident which destroyed two buildings at the orphanage; a result of using low-quality solar-powered devices and home systems which had not been internationally certified.

Ole Samuilov, chief of product, SolarHome, said, “Solar home systems, particularly high-quality low- voltage systems pose less of a fire and safety hazard than other off-grid energy systems. We only install solar home systems verified by the World Bank’s Lighting Global Quality Standards. These standards ensure that our panels, batteries and devices are properly wired and connected before sold to the customer, thereby minimizing any fire and safety risks,” added Ole.

Lighting Global, a World Bank Group platform to support sustainable growth of the off-grid solar market, certifies the quality of solar products according to its Quality Standards.

“Lighting Global certified products undergo rigorous testing, including a safety assessment to ensure proper sizing and installation of wires. We strongly encourage individual solar energy users and companies to check that their systems are certified before purchasing,” said Bill Gallery, program manager at Lighting Global Myanmar.

To reduce the risk of fire and safety accidents, Solar home system users should:

  1. Protect the battery clams from humidity, dirt, kids and animals to avoid short circuits. Cover the place where the battery is wired to solar;
  2. Use controllers to prevent your battery from overcharging and overheating;
  3. Carefully calculate the size of wires needed to connect the panel to the battery and choose wires that correspond to the capacity of your panel; and
  4. Choose wires of a proven quality as the cheapest wires may not meet the system’s technical requirements.

Founded in 2012, the Thinkari orphanage and school supports the health and education needs of close to 310 children in Bago region. With SolarHome’s Lightning Global certified panels, the children are  now able to study safely throughout the day.

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About SolarHome

SolarHome (www.solar-home.asia) is the pioneer in Pay-As-You-Go (“PAYG”) Solar for off-grid households in Southeast Asia.  SolarHome installs 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 largest fintech venture builder in Emerging Asia. Last year, SolarHome brought light to more than 3000  households in rural Myanmar.

Media contacts:

Singapore

Keshia de Vries
PR Manager, FORUM
Mobile: +65 9479 2366; Email: kdevries@forum-cap.com

 

Yangon

Wit Yi Aung Communication Officer SolarHome Myanmar

Mobile: +95 9421083400; Email: wityi@solar-home.asia