KENYA – Solar Panda, a startup based in Canada and Kenya that designs, manufactures, and sells pay-as-you-go (PAYGo) solar household systems in Kenya, has received US$8 million in Series A funding.

The funding round was led by impact investors Oikocredit and the EU-funded Electrification Financing Initiative (EDFI ElectriFI).

This investment will be used to increase the company’s product offerings, expand its reach within Kenya, and lay the groundwork for future growth in Kenya and Sub-Saharan Africa.

“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 been able to achieve 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.”

The startup has generated considerable traction since it was founded. Now in more than 200,000 homes, Solar Panda wants to bring clean, affordable electricity to over 1 million Kenyans.

“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,” Alexander Remy, Equity Officer at Oikocredit, said.

“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.”

Solar Panda, which was founded in 2017, distributes Solar Home Systems, which include lighting, mobile charging, radios, and televisions, through its own network of 37 stores and 1000 sales agents throughout Kenya.

Systems are sponsored for clients in order to make them affordable and to benefit various aspects of their lives, such as reducing the need for hazardous kerosene lanterns, saving families money, promoting education, and enabling increased productivity.

Solar Panda has focused on two aims from its inception: making a meaningful social impact and building a lucrative, sustainable business. Solar Panda was one of the first companies in this area to break even.

“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,” Lionel Dieu, ElectriFI Senior Investment Officer at EDFI Management Company, said.

“Through this co-investment with Oikocredit, we aim at supporting the company in its next stage of development and realizing its full potential.”

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