BANGALORE, INDIA – 10 January 2018: Orb Energy announced today the company has raised more than $15 million USD in equity and debt to grow its in-house finance facility of rooftop solar for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in India and to further expand its Kenya operations.
As part of this round, the Netherlands Development Finance Company (FMO) provided $4 million USD in equity, and Orb signed a loan agreement with the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) – the United States development finance institution – for $10 million USD in long-term debt. Funds will be used for growth of Orb’s unique in-house platform in India that provides finance to SMEs looking to reduce electricity costs through ownership of a rooftop solar system.
The new funding now positions Orb for profitable growth in the rooftop solar sector in India. Orb expects its 15MW in annual rooftop solar system sales in FY 17-18 to more than triple in the near future, growing to 50MW annually by FY 19-20.
Orb is a leading provider of solar energy systems, with more than 150,000 systems sold in India since 2006. Unique to the solar industry, Orb is vertically integrated, manufacturing its own solar photovoltaic modules and solar water heating systems in Bengaluru, Karnataka.”We are extremely pleased that FMO increased its equity position in Orb Energy, adding $4 million to its earlier investment of $2 million in 2015,” said Damian Miller, Orb’s Chief Executive Officer.
“We see this as a vote of confidence in our unique approach to the solar market in India, which has allowed us to leverage a further $10 million from OPIC to expand our finance platform for SMEs looking to save money on their electricity bill with their own rooftop solar system.”
In India, rooftop solar systems offer commercial and industrial customers a three- to four-year payback without any subsidy – an unheard of return on investment on an unsubsidized solar power system. But many cash-constrained SMEs in India cannot afford the up-front costs of solar without credit.
Orb offers a finance facility to SMEs that matches their payback period, after which all their power is effectively free. Furthermore, Orb’s credit check is quick, often completed in less than seven days, and its finance products require no collateral. This easy access to reasonable cost finance is driving solid growth in Orb’s commercial sales of rooftop solar systems.
“We like the progress that the Orb team has made in the commercial and industrial rooftop space in India,” said Jurgen Rigterink, CEO of FMO. “Orb has demonstrated through its unique in-house finance facility and vertically integrated approach that profitable growth is possible in this fast moving, highly competitive segment of India’s solar market. We fully expect to see Orb emerge as one of the solar leaders of India in the years to come.”
“Enabling customers to access reasonably priced financing helps SMEs generate their own power and save money,” OPIC CEO Ray W. Washburne added. “OPIC is proud of its partnership with Orb and looks forward to supporting access to energy in these developing markets.”
Additionally, Orb successfully raised more than $1 million USD for Orb’s solar operations in Kenya. Pamiga, an investor in African finance institutions and small- to medium-sized enterprises, provided $500,000 in equity, and $550,000 came from DEG – Germany’s development finance institution – using funds from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (BMZ) Upscaling Programme. These funds will be used to further expand Orb’s residential and commercial solar business in Kenya, where Orb has sold more than 10,000 systems since 2014.
Investors in Orb Energy include FMO (The Netherlands), Bamboo Capital Partners (Switzerland), Rianta Capital (Switzerland), Acumen Capital Market Funds I (USA), and Pamiga SA (Luxembourg)
About Orb Energy
Orb Energy was founded in 2006, and since inception has sold more than 150,000 solar systems in India, with cumulative installations of more than 30MW of rooftop solar systems. Orb is head-quartered in Bangalore, where it has two factories: one producing solar photovoltaic panels and one producing solar water heating systems. Orb employs approximately 400 people in India. Orb started Africa operations in Kenya in 2014, where it seeks to replicate its India model. To learn more about Orb Energy’s products call +1-800-3010-1650 within India and +91 99005 20505 from abroad and visit us at www.orbenergy.com.
Cady Susswein, Email: email@example.com Tel: +1-917-232-3379
Kiran TJ, VP-Marketing, Email: TJ.Kiran@orbenergy.com Tel: +91 98441 70058
FMO is the Dutch development bank. As a leading impact investor, FMO supports sustainable private sector growth in developing countries and emerging markets by investing in ambitious projects and entrepreneurs. FMO believes that a strong private sector leads to economic and social development, and has more than a 45-year proven track-record of empowering people to employ their skills and improve their quality of life. FMO focuses on three sectors that have high development impact: financial institutions, energy, and agribusiness, food & water. With a committed portfolio of EUR 9.8 billion spanning over 92 countries, FMO is one of the larger bilateral private sector development banks globally. For more information: please visit www.fmo.nl
Paul Hartogsveld, Senior Corporate Communications T: +31 70 314 9928, M: +31 6 11589127, E: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) is a self-sustaining U.S. Government agency that helps American businesses invest in emerging markets. Established in 1971, OPIC provides businesses with the tools to manage the risks associated with foreign direct investment, fosters economic development in emerging market countries, and advances U.S. foreign policy and national security priorities. OPIC helps American businesses gain footholds in new markets, catalyzes new revenues and contributes to jobs and growth opportunities both at home and abroad. OPIC fulfills its mission by providing businesses with financing, political risk insurance, advocacy and by partnering with private equity investment fund managers.
Amanda Burke, T: +1 202 312 2186 E: email@example.com
Pamiga Finance SA B is an impact investment vehicle domiciled in Luxembourg. It aims, through financing microfinance institutions and companies, to help unlock the economic potential in rural Africa by providing innovative access to renewable energy, productive water and agricultural value chains. Through PAMIGA’s unique network, investees across all sectors are able to accelerate their growth thanks to its unmatched knowledge of rural markets and finance in Africa.
Renee CHAO-BEROFF, CEOT: +331 42 01 60 16, M: +336 33 12 17 01, E: firstname.lastname@example.org
For 55 years DEG has been a reliable partner to private-sector enterprises operating in developing and emerging-market countries. We provide our customers with tailor-made solutions, including financing, promotional programmes and advice tailored to individual needs. They can thus develop successfully and sustainably, while generating local added value and creating qualified jobs. With our portfolio of around EUR 8.6 billion in over 80 countries we’re one of the world’s largest private-sector development financiers. To learn more please visit www.deginvest.de.