Solar energy company, SolarNow has announced raising $9 million in debt arranged by SunFunder, a longtime debt financier for the company alongside co-lenders responsAbility and Oikocredit.
The $9 million facility is SolarNow’s third structured asset finance instrument, or SAFI, arranged by SunFunder. It will enable the company to deploy 17,500 new off-grid solar systems to customers in Uganda, along with a range of appliances.
SolarNow CEO Willem Nolens commented: “This syndication and the SAFI structure allow us to minimize the fundraising burden and to focus on our business instead. By selecting the right clients and treating them well, our credit portfolio remains healthy and we create a strong foundation for sustainable growth.”
This new investment also marks the 5th anniversary of SolarNow’s partnership with SunFunder, and their debt facility together as well as the second time that Oikocredit and a responsAbility-managed private debt fund have participated with SunFunder to finance the company, after a similar $6m syndication 14 months ago.
According to the announcement, the new systems will amount to around 2.5MW of new installed off-grid solar capacity, resulting in over 210,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions avoided through displaced kerosene for lighting.
As far as impact is concerned, SolarNow estimates that over 70,000 women will gain improved energy access in Uganda. Oikocredit’s Renewable Energy Manager David ten Kroode commented: “Their [SolarNow’s] strategy of offering a wide range of solar products and services to energy-poor communities is perfectly aligned with Oikocredit’s mission to help alleviate poverty by improving access to energy.”
The SAFI product is a tailored receivables financing structure designed by SunFunder for solar companies deploying systems through pay-as-you-go and solar leasing models. SAFI finances their credit offerings directly, allowing them to reach more customers.