The investment will meet working capital needs as EcoEnergy scales up their off-grid solar systems from 10,000 to 50,000 rural households across Pakistan over the next 3 years. At present, 65 million people in Pakistan live without access to the national energy grid. Providing reliable access to electricity will greatly improve their quality of life and help spur economic development.
PAYG technology allows low-income residents of rural areas to buy solar home systems and other solar-powered products with installment payments via mobile money. It simultaneously enables the solar system operators to turn those products on or off remotely based on payment schedules, making off-grid power infinitely more accessible. EcoEnergy intends to work with the government to provide energy solutions from 15-250W solutions for homes and businesses, all the way through to mini-grids for industrial and commercial use in unelectrified areas in Pakistan.
EcoEnergy landed the debt finance deal with Trine, a crowdfunding platform that enables individuals to invest in off-grid solar energy loans with potential return, while making social and environmental impact. Trine has already financed over €10 million through their platform and secured partnerships with United Nations Development Programme and Swedish International
Development Cooperation Agency as well as several corporations.
The loan to EcoEnergy is Trine’s first outside of the well-established off-grid electrification sector in Africa. The deal comes on the heels of $1.8 million raise by EcoEnergy for the expansion of its operations earlier this year and the acquisition of Norwegian pay-as-you-go solar company Brighterlite Pakistan.
The company is in the process of closing an additional $3 million dollars in investment by the end of 2018 and poised for rapid, accelerated growth.
Sam Manaberi, CEO and co-founder of Trine, said: Our first loan into Pakistan marks a new milestone in Trine’s work towards bringing affordable finance into a growing market. With an estimated 124 million people in Pakistan lacking electricity there is a huge need for investments that contributes to social, environmental and economic impact. Investors have shown great interest in this loan and we are certain that EcoEnergy will play an important role in development by bringing clean energy across to households across the country.
Shazia Khan, CEO of EcoEnergy, said: Trine’s investment does a great deal towards closing a critical investment gap in the off-grid electrification sector, in an incredibly innovative way. Crowdfunding has the potential to make massive change by allowing ordinary people the ability to invest in something that will fundamentally improve the lives of millions living across the globe. No longer do we have to wait for traditional investors to hem and haw over the clear business opportunity, social impact and
credit-worthiness of our customers. EcoEnergy is exciting to be leading meaningful investment into Pakistan, a country of 207 million people with a young population, whose energy needs are growing and can be met with clean energy technologies.