KENYA: SFC finances d.light to distribute solar kits in rural areas

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AFRICA: SFC finances d.light to distribute solar kits in rural areas ©Khamkhlai Thanet/Shutterstock

The Solar Frontier Capital (SFC) financing platform, has recently set up a 6.5 billion shillings (about $65 million) financing facility to benefit d.light design Inc. Known as Brighter Life Kenya 1 Limited (BLK1), this financing facility will help in the distribution of solar home kits in rural Kenya.

The solar kit supplier d.light design Inc. will be able to easily distribute its solar kits to rural areas in Kenya. The San Francisco, USA-based company now benefits from Brighter Life Kenya 1 Limited (BLK1). It is a 6.5 billion shillings (about $65 million) financing facility set up by Solar Frontier Capital (SFC), a financing platform and subsidiary of African Frontier Capital (AFC).

The funds in local currency (shilling) will enable the acquisition of receivables on pay-as-you-go  solar home systems from d.light’s Kenyan subsidiary. The objective is to provide the company with flexible working capital to finance its growth. According to d.light, BLK1 will have a two-year commitment period and “is intended to be the first of a series of mechanisms designed to provide d.light with continued access to sustainable and affordable local currency financing”.

Providing access to electricity to 1.2 million people

SFC’s new $65 million financing mechanism is supported by the U.S. Development Finance Corporation (DFC), a new agency created through the merger of Overseas Private Investment Corporation (Opic) and the Development Credit Authority (DCA). The US financial institution provided $20 million per debt commitment for BLK1.

“DFC is proud to partner with d.light and AFC to bring affordable energy to more than one million Kenyans living in off-grid communities,” said Worku Gachou, managing director of DFC Africa. This innovative collaboration will provide the reliable access to electricity that people depend on for living, cooking and learning, and that businesses need to grow, invest and create jobs.

The Solar Frontier Capital (SFC) is acting as a subordinated lender and lead lender in the transaction and, more generally, as a sponsor of BLK1. The funds secured in the facility could enable d.light to electrify 1.2 million people in rural Kenya via solar home kits.

Jean Marie Takouleu

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