Solar Panda, a young Canadian company that provides solar home systems to off-grid homes in sub-Saharan Africa, has been ranked the 3rd fastest growing company in Canada in 2021 by Report on Business Magazine, a publication of Canada’s newspaper of record, the Globe and Mail. Solar Panda earned its spot with a three-year revenue growth of 10,465%!
Solar Panda was founded by Andy Keith, a serial entrepreneur in the renewable energy sector. Solar Panda started selling in Kenya in 2017 and in under 4 years has rocketed to be become a leader in the industry. It provides solar home systems to over 160,000 homes, bringing light to 800,000 Kenyans. These systems transform lives by displacing toxic and dangerous kerosene lanterns; giving children clean light to study by; providing access to entertainment and information; and making virtually all daily tasks easier.
“We’re honoured to be recognized and included on this distinguished list,” says Andy Keith, CEO. “I am in awe of the growth our team has achieved, especially with the challenges Covid has thrown at us. There are still nearly a billion people in the world without access to electricity, and so we are just getting started!”
In the past 4 years, Solar Panda has grown to a company with 250 employees (54% women), 750 sales agents and 30 stores across Kenya. Since the beginning, Solar Panda has been focused on sustainable growth and was profitable prior to the pandemic, a feat which has eluded most companies operating in this nascent sector.
“The pandemic will have an outsized impact in developing countries with slow access to vaccines and fragile economies”, says Andy. (Fewer than 2% of the population in sub-Saharan Africa is vaccinated.) “However, I’m confident these countries will recover, and Africa will get back on track to be the fastest growing region in the world.”
While Kenya weathers Covid, Solar Panda is doing everything it can to stay the course by making its products more affordable for financially-strapped families. It also launched a not-for-profit educational initiative to help Kenyan children with their studies when schools shut down.
Solar Panda is currently raising its first round of external equity to support its ambitious growth plans as economies recover and help manage the challenges of the pandemic. Solar Panda is seeking a mission-aligned investor who not only recognizes the large business opportunity but is passionate about ending the injustice in the world that over a billion people still lack access to electricity.
About Solar Panda
Solar Panda, headquartered in Canada and Nairobi, manufactures and sells Solar Home Systems that include lights, mobile charging, and a television through its network of 30 shops across Kenya. Home solar kits are financed to customers to make them affordable, allowing them to pay small daily amounts for access to reliable electricity. Solar Panda’s dedicated team stands alone in the industry with its high percentage of women (54%) in roles at all levels within the organization. Now in more than 160,000 homes, Solar Panda (www.solarpanda.com) is bringing clean, affordable electricity to 800,000 Kenyans.