News & Insights

Global Partnerships investee Greenlight Planet provides solar products to 5+ million households

With a mandate to deliver social impact alongside financial returns, Greenlight Planet is now the world’s largest direct-to-consumer, pay-as-you-go (PAYG) solar product distribution business. They now provide clean energy to more than 5 million households in 62 countries, selling 25,000 solar products to off-grid consumers each month.


Greenlight Planet has just completed raising $60M to finance their off-grid solar products and solar financing service for underserved populations around the world. Global Partnerships is one of their first institutional lenders dating back to 2014, investing $4M and helping bring in additional funders including the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC).


“Global Partnerships was one of the first institutions to invest in us,” said Patrick Walsh, CEO of Greenlight Planet. “Global Partnerships’ early vote of confidence in us helped Greenlight Planet attract other investors including OPIC. Since 2014, GP has been a valued partner to help us scale and reach more people living in poverty with our impactful solar products.”


Global Partnerships invested in Greenlight Planet as part of our Solar Lights Investment Initiative. For this initiative, Global Partnerships invests in partners who serve populations beyond the electric grid, mostly living on less than $3.10/day. An estimated 1.2 billion people worldwide lack access to electricity. The main alternative is kerosene, which is dangerous, dim and expensive. Our partners like Greenlight Planet provide low-cost solar lights, solar lights with mobile charging ports, and small solar home systems that pay themselves off over time compared to the cost of alternative light sources like kerosene.


“As the off-grid solar light market grows, products of questionable quality and products from more commercially-driven businesses with less focus on positive impact for people living in poverty are entering the market,” said Mark Coffey, Global Partnerships’ Chief Investment and Operating Officer. “We continue to selectively allocate our funding to the most impactful social enterprises like Greenlight Planet who are market leaders in both quality and affordability for people living in poverty.”


Greenlight Planet is a social enterprise that manufactures and distributes affordable solar lights for low-income communities in the developing world. Their solar-powered products include lighting, home energy systems, phone chargers, radios and fans.


Greenlight Planet has been consistently profitable for each of the previous 10 quarters. They have 2,400 company-managed sales agents and partner with a network of more than 100 distributors including microfinance institutions to reach off-grid communities. This kerosene-free lighting also prevents emission of an estimated 400,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases annually.


Led by Apis Growth Fund I, Greenlight Planet has raised $60M, including equity from Eight Roads Ventures and Bamboo Capital Partners in addition to new debt investments from the company’s earliest institutional lenders, Deutche Bank and Global Partnerships, as well as SunFunder, PG Impact Investments, responsibility and SIMA Funds.

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