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Off-grid power provider SolarHome bags first debt funding

SINGAPORE off-grid power solutions startup SolarHome has secured its first debt funding with a sale of two-year, zero-coupon non-convertible instruments, the company announced on Tuesday.

When contacted by phone, SolarHome's chief financial officer Vaishnav Sunil declined to disclose the funding amount.

The fundraising was done through crowdfunding platform Kiva, and Mr Sunil said that funding was raised within seven days. Impact investor Impact Investment Exchange (IIX) helped provide support for the deal as part of the IIX Acceleration for Capacity-building and Technical Services (IIX ACTS) programme in partnership with USAID (United States Agency for International Development).

SolarHome said that the funding will be used to support the growth of its installed system base in Myanmar.

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The latest round of funding comes after the company closed an oversubscribed pre-Series A equity funding round of US$625,000, led by South-east Asia-based impact venture capital firm Uberis Capital.

"The achievement of first debt funding is a major milestone for SolarHome. As a pioneer of affordable clean energy for off-grid communities in South-east Asia, we are dealing with an addressable market of 27 million households and over US$3 billion of annual spend on legacy energy sources," said chief executive Ted Martynov.

SolarHome is seeded and developed by Forum Capital, a Singapore-based fintech venture builder focused on consumer lending. The company has plans to expand out of Myanmar to other developing nations such as the Philippines, Indonesia and Cambodia.