Solar Panda Corporation, a Canadian company that designs, manufactures, and sells pay-as-you-go (PAYGo) solar home systems in Kenya, has raised US$8 million in Series A funding, jointly led by impact investors Oikocredit and the EU-funded Electrification Financing Initiative (EDFI ElectriFI).
Solar Panda, one of the fastest growing companies in the sector, recently announced that it had reached the milestone of providing electricity to 1 million Kenyans. The company will use this investment to grow its product offerings, expand its footprint within Kenya and set the stage for further expansion in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Solar Panda sells Solar Home Systems that include lights, mobile charging, radios and televisions through its own network of 37 shops and 1000 sales agents across Kenya. Systems are financed for customers to enable affordability and have the ability to improve many facets of the customer’s life, such as eliminating the need for harmful kerosene lanterns, saving families money, supporting education, and enabling greater productivity. Since its inception, Solar Panda has focused on achieving dual goals of making a meaningful social impact and building a profitable, sustainable business. Solar Panda was one of the first companies in this industry to achieve profitability.
“We are excited to partner with leading global impact investors Oikocredit and Electrifi and thankful that this funding will help us accelerate our mission of improving lives”, said Andy Keith, founder and CEO of Solar Panda. “I’m very proud of the growth and success our team has achieved over the past 4 years, and with nearly 1 billion people in the world without access to electricity, we feel we are just getting started. Seeing signs of pandemic recovery and a return to profitability, we will use the strength from our Series A raise to start work on our Series B round, which will be focused on international expansion. We are grateful to have ElectriFI and Oikocredit joining the team and look forward to working with them to take Solar Panda to the next level.”
Alexander Remy, Equity Officer at Oikocredit, said, “In a short period of time, Solar Panda has demonstrated its capabilities in designing and selling quality solar home systems needed by many households across Kenya. We are happy with the strong local talent they have assembled and are certain they can continue delivering positive results. As an equity investor in a partner like Solar Panda, we will collaborate and continue directing our efforts to make clean energy accessible and improving the quality of life of thousands more households for the communities we serve.”
Lionel Dieu, ElectriFI Senior Investment Officer at EDFI Management Company, said, “We are extremely delighted to become a shareholder of Solar Panda. The company has displayed impressive growth over the last years and demonstrated strong resilience amid COVID. Through this co-investment with Oikocredit, we aim to support the company in its next stage of development and realize its full potential.”