Fund manager SunFunder is providing a $4 million loan to Yellow. The Lilongwe-based start-up distributes solar home systems that improve access to electricity in rural Malawi.
Yellow is getting funding to improve its operational efficiency in Malawi. The start-up based in the Malawian capital Lilongwe is getting a $4 million loan from SunFunder, a fund manager focused on solar energy in sub-Saharan Africa. The funding is intended to expand Yellow’s operations in Malawi.
In this East African country, the start-up founded by Mike Heyink distributes solar home systems that provide rural households with access to electricity. Given the low standard of living in the countryside, the company allows pay-per-use of its solar home systems via the mobile payment solutions available in Malawi.
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“When we first met founder Mike Heyink and his team a few years ago, they were a start-up with barely 100 customers. We’ve followed their progress from a start-up studying lessons learned to a growing company that is setting best practices for the industry,” explains SunFunder.
To date, the start-up has already distributed 110,000 solar kits that provide access to electricity to 400,000 people through its 66 employees. Yellow is playing an important role in Malawi, where the rural electricity access rate is only 5% according to Power Africa, one of the lowest rates on the African continent. The company has also deployed 721 sales agents in three African countries. In 2020, the start-up raised $3.3 million from Platform Investment Partners (PIP) and Ruby Rock Investment. The goal is to provide solar home systems to 100,000 rural households in Uganda and Malawi.
Jean Marie Takouleu