SolarNow Attracts $2 Million Loan Facility to Accelerate Distribution of Solar Home Systems in Uganda

SolarNow, one of Arc’s partners under the USAID-funded REMMP initiative, announced a new $2 million loan facility from SunFunder. SolarNow is a solar distributor in Uganda that makes solar affordable through a 24-month payment plan. Through this business model, they can ensure that high quality solar be available to low income households. SunFunder has designed a Structured Asset Finance Instrument (SAFI), which allows SolarNow to finance its fast-growing portfolio of payment plans in Uganda.

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SunFunder began lending to SolarNow in 2013 with small, crowdfunded inventory loans. Through these initial loans, SolarNow established a repayment track record that helped enable SunFunder to unlock capital from accredited investors for larger and longer-term loans needed to match SolarNow’s growing working capital needs. In 2015, SunFunder extended facilities totaling over $800,000 of loans to SolarNow. The new SAFI facility builds on SolarNow’s strong track record in sourcing high-quality customers and extending credit on appropriately sized solar home systems based on customers’ energy needs and their ability to repay. The facility will scale SolarNow’s capacity to build and service such customers with contract terms in the future and multiply the positive impact SolarNow can make in the region.

“SunFunder has been a fantastic partner throughout this process,” said SolarNow’s Managing Director Willem Nolens. “With this financing in place, the board and management believe our business is now well placed to accelerate our growth in Uganda and beyond.”

“The launch of SAFI marks a new chapter in our long-standing relationship with a top-quality solar company,” said Audrey Desiderato, SunFunder’s Co-Founder and COO. “Starting with small crowdfunded inventory loans in 2013, we provided larger working capital facilities funded through our Solar Empowerment Fund. The launch of SAFI marks a next step in our relationship and aims to efficiently deliver scale. We are proud to announce this market-leading transaction with SolarNow and play an important role in their continued success in the market.”

About SolarNow
SolarNow offers a range of high-quality solar home systems and electrical appliances that are designed to fit the needs of rural households and entrepreneurs. Their solar home systems range 50 to 5,000 watts and because the systems are modular, customers can easily upgrade existing their systems to increase their system’s power capacity over time. The company offers a wide range of electrical appliances, including high quality LED lights, televisions, fridges, water pumps and flat irons. Through their network of 36 branches in Uganda and by extending appropriate credit to their customers for up to 24 months, SolarNow makes solar accessible and affordable for rural, low-income households and businesses. The company already installed over 10,000 solar systems in Uganda since 2011. These clients benefit from 5 years free service.

Press contact: Mr. John Kizito, Group Controller (john@solarnow.eu, tel. 0788 916 641)

About SunFunder
SunFunder is a solar energy finance business with a mission to unlock capital for solar energy in emerging markets, where over 2 billion people live without access to reliable energy. SunFunder offers short-term inventory loans, working capital facilities and structured finance facilities to residential and commercial solar companies with a proven track record for quality and growth. SunFunder raises the capital for its loans through private debt offerings that give accredited investors an opportunity to invest in a diversified, vetted, and high impact portfolio of solar loans. The company aims to raise and deploy $1 billion into solar projects around the world by 2020.

Press contact: Mr. David Battley, Director of Structured Finance (david@sunfunder.com)