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Press release: Solaris Offgrid raises €1m equity funds to provide sustainable and affordable energy

Solaris Offgrid, the pay-as-you-go solar energy company offering affordable rural energy solutions, has raised more than Euros 1 million to expand operations in new developing countries, including Africa, India and South East Asia.

The company has been receiving business advisory support from Energy 4 Impact, a non-profit organisation that supports local businesses that provide energy access to off-grid communities in Africa, over the last 2.5 years through a number of strategic advisory engagements. More recently it has sustained its fundraising process by offering capital raising advisory with feedback on the financial model, transactional advisory on company valuation and term sheet review.

Solaris Offgrid’s pay-as-you go modular, integrated technology offers the flexibility to be scaled up from basic lighting to full-service communications, refrigeration and productive solutions. This enables families and micro-entrepreneurs in rural communities in developing countries to purchase energy, as and when they need it, at the price of less than $ 0.25 through mobileenabledpayments.

Unlike other players in the industry, Solaris Offgrid combines its offer of modular hardware with cutting edge proprietary cloud software that sends automated user feedback to the company’s back-office, enabling them to offer tailor-made business support and personalised mentoring to rural entrepreneurs to maximise their revenues.

“We are excited and proud of Solaris Offgrid’s fundraising achievement,” says Shashank Verma, Head of Advisory Services at Energy 4 Impact. “They have come a long way since we first engaged with them three years ago. We have seen the company grow from a 2-person team to a team of 35+. Their outstanding achievement is also a measure of our success and a motivation for our team to continue supporting small energy companies with great potential,” explains Shashank.

The advisory team has engaged with Solaris since its start-up days; it was then known as Eternum Energy. As most start-ups in the solar-home-system, pay-as-you-go space, selling systems on credit, the company required debt financing to scale-up, but struggled to access as the company was too early for debt. Energy 4 Impact encouraged Solaris Offgrid to also adopt a B2B strategy, in which the company sold its product and software as white-label to other smaller SMEs offering pay-as-you-go solar-home-systems in other countries. This business pivot not only helped Solaris gain traction, without necessarily having to raise debt, but it also helped it distinguish its business model from other players, making it an attractive investment proposition for potential equity investors.

Siten Mandalia, co-founder of Solaris Offgrid, says “we are proud to have brought clean and safe electricity to almost 10,000 people across six countries, since we began operations three years ago. But that’s just the beginning. The latest round of funding will prove crucial as we work towards our ambition of providing power to 10 million people by 2020.”

A number of European private investors have backed this latest funding round, including InnoEnergy, Renovafrica, GAIA Impact Fund and Zubi Labs. The funding will be used to support the company both in growing into new markets across the developing world and in continuing to create new, modular and scalable solutions for partners and customers.

 

 

 

 

 

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