- LeapFrog supports ambitious targets to provide affordable energy access to the 1.8bn people estimated to live without safe, reliable power supply
London, UK: Sun King, the largest provider of solar energy products for off-grid homes in Africa and Asia, has received $70 million in equity investment in an extension of its Series D round, led by LeapFrog Investments (“LeapFrog”), the profit with purpose investment firm.
With its affordable solar power systems for individual homes, Sun King is leading a transformation in how people gain access to electricity across Africa and Asia. The company’s products have so far provided light and power to 95 million people who lacked access to reliable electricity and have prevented more than 24 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions. Sun King solar home systems are dramatically more affordable and sustainable than kerosene or new power lines, allowing customers to leapfrog electrical grids and fossil-fuel energy sources entirely.
This investment is an extension of Sun King’s initial $260 million Series D, which was led by General Atlantic’s BeyondNetZero and M&G Investments in April 2022. This extension includes $38 million of additional primary investment, which will support the company’s plans to make consumer-financed solar power available to the 1.8 billion consumers across Africa and Asia who lack access to reliable electricity. It comes as increasing global energy prices and rising food costs have widened the electricity access gap.
Sun King’s Series D extension also includes additional secondary investment to complete the successful exit of all of Sun King’s prior institutional investors. Sun King’s founders retain voting control and as part of the transaction, LeapFrog will join the board, which now includes representatives of other Series-D investors General Atlantic and M&G Investments as well as Prabha Sinha, the company’s first investor.
Today, Sun King operates the world’s largest direct-to-consumer, pay-as-you-go (PAYG) solar distribution network, delivering solar to 165,000 homes per month across eight countries of operation in Africa. In Kenya, where Sun King has operated for over a decade, more than one in five people in the country now use Sun King for light and power, with 22 million Kenyans served to date. While growing rapidly, the company has remained consistently profitable. Since the closing of the initial General Atlantic–led Series D round in April 2022, the business has achieved 95% year-over-year revenue growth.
In the last twelve months, Sun King has delivered 24 megawatts of solar generation capacity to three million homes and expanded into three new countries: Mozambique, Togo, and Cameroon. The company has extended over $500 million of solar purchase financing to date. Its network of over 20,000 field agents, 36% of whom are women, offers green jobs in areas with limited employment opportunity.
Karima Ola, Partner, LeapFrog Investments, said: “Sun King is leading the way in providing sustainable, safe and reliable electricity access to emerging consumers in Africa and Asia. The company’s off-grid solar systems will be vital in filling the growing electricity accessibility gap and ensuring these emerging countries avoid the carbon dioxide emissions and detrimental health impacts that result from energy sources like diesel generators, wood burners and kerosene.
“Through innovative payment models, Sun King ensures that consumers don’t bear the upfront cost of a clean energy transition, allowing them to leapfrog directly to less carbon intensive consumption. We are pleased to be partnering with Sun King for the next stage of their impressive growth journey.”
Anish Thakkar, co-founder of Sun King, said: “We are proud that LeapFrog is investing in Sun King to expand access to energy with renewable solar power. LeapFrog brings a wealth of experience meeting the needs of customers in the countries where we are working to make solar energy solutions easily accessible to everyone. With this Series D extension, Sun King has launched operations in Togo and Cameroon with plans to expand into new countries in 2023.”
Ekta Partners acted as financial advisor for this transaction. Debevoise & Plimpton LLP provided legal advice to LeapFrog. Goodwin Procter LLP provided legal advice to Sun King.