Sunna Design today announced a €7 million fundraising which should enable it to deal successfully with new international markets by strengthening its commercial and industrial capacities.
Having developed pioneering technologies such as its range of smart solar street lights, Sunna Design has the means to pursue its development in the promising field of connected solar street lights for smart cities by launching a groundbreaking offer that combines energy and digital.
In addition to the new blue-chip investors such as BNP Paribas, Sunna Design received the continuous support of the historic shareholders who accompanied us during the previous round of € 5 million in December 2014. The participation of institutions and experts in the financing round validates Sunna’s strategy that is focused on synergies between solar power, LED, storage and digital embedded in quality products to meet the needs of sunny and emerging countries. With its maintenance-free solar street lights designed to last 10 years, Sunna Design is well placed for convincing local buyers who are now demanding and sensitive to the notions of climate resilience and lifespan.
For Pierre François, former CEO of Sicame Group and new investor “Sunna has developed a very coherent approach, by first positioning proprietary technologies, and by structuring strategic partnerships with industry leaders such as Schneider Electric and Thorn Lighting. Now the company is strengthening its industrial capabilities with a concept: the factory of the future, flexible and easy to set up as close as possible to targeted markets. I was taken by the Sunna teams’ agility and thorough understanding in the field.”
Founder and CEO of Sunna Design, Thomas Samuel is greatly looking forward to the upcoming launch of a new generation of street lights. “We are coming to the One Planet Summit to present innovative solutions to smart city and connected villages whose social and environmental impact are very positive. Especially in emerging countries, which are important to me, this equipment will soon bring more than light and will support the services of smart cities. It is a hugely promising market in which we have genuine assets as a company of the French ‘Clean Tech’,”
The fundraising will also allow to continue the development, under the Moon brand, of a new business providing access to energy and digital services for rural populations of Africa by allowing them to enter into a virtuous circle of cost savings and generation of income. Launched eighteen months ago, Moon has already proven its relevance in Senegal, where hundreds of customers already buy Moon kits composed of a solar system and a smartphone using the pay-as-you-go system. Sunna Design’s energy access business was partly funded by the crowdlending platform of Solylend, together with well-known donors such as the French Development Agency, the French Treasury through its FASEP tool, and most recently, USAID.
Outstanding achievements, industrial innovations and the strategic vision of Sunna Design have been awarded with 10 international prizes from the likes of EY, MIT, Frost & Sullivan and Bloomberg New energy. The company has also been selected as a finalist of the prestigious Zayed Future Energy prize that recognizes companies’ commitment to true ecological transition and sustainable development.
A few words from the investors
“BNP Paribas wanted to be involved with Sunna Design by participating in this new fundraising that comes at a turning point in the life of this French start-up. With a renewed range of products and a business with a global focus, Sunna Design will thus be able to accelerate its commercial development. This investment is in perfect syntony with BNP Paribas’ intention of acting as an accelerator of the energy transition, in particular by making a commitment to invest 100 million euros in start-ups specialized in this field, or by raising its funding target for renewable energies to €15 billion by 2020,” said Yann Lagalaye, Energy Transition Capital Manager at BNP Paribas.
“Demeter is quite happy to renew its faith in Sunna Design by participating in this new round of financing and to welcome prestigious new entrants. Sunna’s partnership approach allows it to stay in close step with its customers’ concerns. Thanks to the proven quality of its products, Sunna has built a reputation for excellence that will enable it to capture the market.” said Maureen Le Baud, Investment Director at Demeter.
“The ecological transition is one of the strategic pillars of the Aviva Impact Investing France / INCO fund, while Sunna Design is an example of an innovative company that is making it happen. Renewing our trust in this dynamic company that is demonstrating its model that reconciles economic performance and general interest was only natural.” said Jean-Michel Lecuyer, CEO of INCO
About Sunna Design and its strategy http://sunna-design.fr/en
Sunna Design is a start-up specialist in autonomous and intelligent LED lighting. Sunna Design develops and manufactures in France a range of autonomous products resistant to extreme weather conditions.
- An offer adapted to emerging countries. With technology at the crossroads of solar, energy storage, LED lighting and digital, embedded in standalone lamps and resistant to extreme environments, Sunna is meeting one of the major challenges of developing countries: providing access to street lighting and its security, as well as its social and economic benefits, to a large part of the population.
- Innovative technologies at the service of smart cities and connected villages.
Streetlights 4.0. Sunna Design is positioning its autonomous solar streetlight networks as the future backbone for grafting Smart City’s connected services. This infrastructure provides comfort and safety, even in the event of a power outage or climatic disaster. Sunna Design enhances a technology protected by fourteen patents and designed to guarantee a lighting service with unmatched lifespan and cost control. With a complete and recently renewed range, Sunna is now working on tailor-made solutions that meet the specific needs of its various partners, particularly in related markets such as security or street furniture.
- Moon. Moon is a revolutionary offer that has been successfully tested, with 95% of customers satisfied to date on the first pilots in Senegal. It is a “pay as you go” kit that gives rural populations access to quality solar lighting and also to a smartphone opening on a multitude of adapted digital contents – educational, health or agricultural optimization programs – and financial inclusion.
- First class partnerships. With over 12,000 solar streetlights sold worldwide in over 40 countries, including partnerships with companies such as Schneider Electric, Thorn Lighting, Solektra and its Akon Lighting Africa initiative, Sunna Design has become the benchmark of its sector. In particular, the company inaugurated a manufacturing unit for its products in Mali in January in partnership with Solektra, with the aim of serving the regional market estimated at more than 100,000 solar street lights over the next five years. Sunna Design aims to replicate this type of joint-venture project with local leaders in half a dozen target countries in the next two years. This business model transfers skills and creates locally qualified jobs while reducing product costs.
About BNP Paribas – https://group.bnpparibas/
BNP Paribas is a leading bank in Europe with an international reach. It has a presence in 74 countries, with more than 192,000 employees, including more than 146,000 in Europe. The Group has key positions in its three main activities: Domestic Markets and International Financial Services (whose retail-banking networks and financial services are covered by Retail Banking & Services) and Corporate & Institutional Banking, which serves two client franchises: corporate clients and institutional investors. The Group helps all its clients (individuals, community associations, entrepreneurs, SMEs, corporates and institutional clients) to realise their projects through solutions spanning financing, investment, savings and protection insurance. In Europe, the Group has four domestic markets (Belgium, France, Italy and Luxembourg) and BNP Paribas Personal Finance is the European leader in consumer lending. BNP Paribas is rolling out its integrated retail-banking model in Mediterranean countries, in Turkey, in Eastern Europe and a large network in the western part of the United States. In its Corporate & Institutional Banking and International Financial Services activities, BNP Paribas also enjoys top positions in Europe, a strong presence in the Americas as well as a solid and fast-growing business in Asia-Pacific.
About Demeter Partners – http ://www.demeter-partners.com
Demeter is a European leader in capital investment for energy and ecology transition. Demeter invests in capital innovation, capital development/transmission and infrastructure, mainly in France, Spain and Germany. With 800M€ of assets under management and 31 professionals, Demeter has invested in 120 companies over the last 10 years.
SOPER, a company owned by Jean-Michel Germa, invests and develops activities mainly in the field of renewable energies (marine and terrestrial), energy savings and environmental protection.
About Aviva Impact Investing France/INCO – INCO.co.com
Aviva Impact Investing France is a fund managed by INCO. It offers innovative solutions for financing and support to companies with a strong social and environmental focus.
About AQUITI Gestion – http ://www.aquiti.fr
Aquiti Gestion is a team specialized in equity financing for SMEs in Aquitaine. The team runs various financing tools, including a platform for interest-free loans, Aquitaine Amorçage, the venture capital company ACI and the regional co-investment fund AQUI INVEST. These mechanisms, managed by AQUITI Gestion, now represent nearly 30 million euros.
About Aquitaine Co-Invest
Aquitaine Co-Invest is a co-investment fund created on the initiative of the Regional Council of New Aquitaine. The purpose of this structure is to support partner funds, previously approved, as part of the equity financing of startups and SMEs in New Aquitaine. Aquitaine Co-Invest can intervene on the same amounts and terms as the partner fund. Aquiti Gestion manages this vehicle.
Participants in the capital increase operation:
Sunna Design : Thomas Samuel, Nicolas Malvert
- BNP Paribas : Yann Lagalaye, Olivier Warnan, Laura Wirsztel
- Demeter Partners (Demeter 3 Amorçage) : Stéphane Villecroze, Maureen Le Baud
- SOPER : Jean-Michel Germa, Nicolas Hontebeyrie
- Aviva Impact Investing France/INCO :Jean Michel Lecuyer, Léonie Duphenieux
- AQUITI Gestion / Aquitaine Co-Invest : Bernard Estienne
Legal Council : Ernst & Young Bordeaux : Catherine Michelet Quinquis, Valérie Dinard
Financial advisor : Clermount : Denis Viennot, Julien Deconinck
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