SunKing, a provider of off-grid solar energy products in Africa and Asia, has received a $70 million equity investment led by Leapfrog Investments. Led by General Atlantic and M&G Investments’ Catalyst and Arc Emerging Market Partners, the climate investment is an extension of the $260 million Series D round the solar company announced this April. As a result, Sun King closed its Series D round at $330 million, raising more than $550 million in debt and equity from the start.
Many African families and communities do not have access to affordable and reliable solar technology, which limits their ability to generate electricity and reduces grid-based energy. Direct-to-consumer, pay-as-you-go (PAYG) solar distribution networks are provided by Sun King businesses, enabling households and individuals to access electricity at affordable prices.
Sun King claims it is the largest of its kind globally. According to the company, it has been able to deliver solar power to 165,000 homes per month in eight African countries, and in Kenya, where it has been serving for more than a decade, 1 in 5 people in Kenya use the product for light and power, which has served 22 million Kenyans to date. On a larger scale, Sun King in 2011 Since its founding in 2007 by CEO Patrick Walsh and Anish Thakkar, its products have provided light and power to 95 million people in African and Asian markets, including Cameroon, Mozambique and Togo, three countries it recently expanded into. The solar energy company has financed more than $500 million in solar purchases through a network of more than 20,000 field agents, 36 percent of whom are women.
“LeapFrog is proud to invest in Sun King to expand access to renewable solar power,” said Thakkar. “LeapFrog brings a wealth of experience to meet the needs of customers in the countries where we work to make solar energy solutions more accessible to everyone.”
Sun King claims to be profitable and has grown its business by 95% year-on-year since its Series D investment nine months ago. In April, we announced that the initial investment will be used to expand PAYG solutions and introduce large-scale setups to power utilities such as refrigeration and measure business availability. This extension, which includes an additional initial investment of $38 million, will be used in this effort. The extension includes an additional secondary investment, which will be used to fully exit Sun King’s previous institutional investors, the company said in a statement.
The founders of Sun King will continue to hold voice control. As part of the deal, Leapfrog, which invested in African fintech giant Interswitch in May, will join Sun King’s board, which now includes General Atlantic and M&G Investments, as well as the company’s original investor Prabha Sinha.
“Sun King is at the forefront of providing sustainable, safe and reliable electricity to developing consumers in Africa and Asia. The company’s solar systems are critical to filling the growing electricity access gap in these developing countries, reducing carbon dioxide emissions from energy sources such as diesel generators, wood burners and kerosene.” It’s to avoid emissions and harmful health problems,” said Karima Ola, partner at LeapFrog Investments.
“Through innovative payment models, Sun King ensures that consumers do not have to bear the initial cost of the clean energy transition, allowing them to jump directly into low-carbon consumption. We are excited to partner with Sun King on their next exciting growth journey.