Sun King Secures Funding For Off-grid Solar In Kenya

Citi arranged the US$130 million securitisation deal.

By Liz Bains on
31st May 2023

Sun King, an off-grid solar energy company, has closed a US$130 million securitisation deal to broaden access to off-grid solar in Kenya. 

The funding round was arranged by Citi and supported by development finance institutions and commercial lenders from six countries, including ABSA Kenya, British International Investment, Norfund, FMO, Standard Bank Kenya and the Trade and Development Bank. 

Under the securitisation structure, investors are financing the pooled expected future payments from over a million Sun King customers in Kenya, raising funds for growth and expansion.

Sun King designs, installs and finances solar energy solutions for individuals, households and businesses who cannot access, rely on, or afford traditional electric grid connections. Customers purchase solar products using a technology-enabled, pay-as-you-go financing service, which breaks payments into affordable instalments. 

Three out of every 10 Kenyans live without access to electricity, and according to Sun King, one in five Kenyans use its products for light and power.

Approximately half of Sun King's registered pay-as-you-go customers in Kenya are women, most of whom are accessing formal financing products for the first time. 

The securitisation structure connects unbanked or underbanked customers to the finance they require to purchase solar assets and provides investors with access to an untapped market that offers risk-diversified returns.

Sun King’s co-founder, Anish Thakkar said, “This securitisation could be key to unlocking the extensive capital needed to fund solar energy initiatives at the scale the climate crisis requires… These trailblazing financial mechanisms can convert the global challenges of energy access, social development and climate action into compelling investment opportunities.”

British International Investment and Stanbic Bank Kenya have jointly provided an additional US$20 million working capital facility to support Sun King. 

Photo: A Sun King solar installation (Supplied)

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