Nairobi, 8 November 2019 – ARE Member Energy Access Ventures (EAV) is pleased to announce that it has exited its investment in d.light to Shell’s New Energies Business.
EAV was an early investor in d.light, seeking to add value to the company as it worked to provide decentralised and clean energy to areas with little or no access throughout Africa. d.light is a pioneer in the off-grid pay-as-you-go industry with their quality products and innovative business model. As part of this transaction, Shell is acquiring the stakes of several early investors in d.light.
d.light co-founder and CEO Ned Tozun said, "We are excited to have Shell join d.light as a shareholder. Shell’s record of leading important, transformative changes within the energy sector, and their alignment with our mission, makes them an ideal partner for d.light as we begin our next phase of major growth. We would like to thank our early investors, including EAV, who had faith in us from the start. Thanks to their enduring support, they have enabled d.light to enable incredible positive impact in the lives of millions of customers while still achieving strong financial outcomes. We have great confidence that we will continue to accelerate and deepen this impact, as we expand our geographic footprint and product portfolio to delight our customers. The future is truly bright for d.light and the off-grid solar industry as a whole.”
Pål Helgesen at NorFund remarked, “When EAV introduced the d.light investment opportunity to Norfund in 2016, we were intrigued by the DNA of the company. Today we celebrate the success of d.light as they continue to grow and directly impact millions of lives in Africa and Asia!”
Christophe Poline, Sustainable Investments Director at Schneider Electric commented: “As EAV’s sponsor we are very proud that EAV has successfully completed its first exit. By directly impacting close to 100 million lives, d.light has successfully accomplished social impact at scale in the energy access space – paving the way for other off-grid energy access companies. Schneider Electric looks forward to continuing to support EAV in its mission.”
“We are very happy to welcome this acquisition by Shell, allowing EAV to successfully exit its investment,” said Michael Gera, Managing Partner at EAV and former member of d.light’s board. "It has been a privilege to work with the d.light team and board over the years seeking to add value by assisting d.light with its earlier funding activity and its partnerships in Africa. For EAV, Shell’s acquisition marks d.light’s move to the next phase of its mission to deliver significant social impact while maintaining a commercially sustainable business at scale. We wish the company all the very best with its next phase!”
Founded in 2006 at Stanford, d.light (www.dlight.com) is a global leader in solar energy, dedicated to providing the most reliable, affordable and accessible solar lighting and power systems for people living in the developing world. d.light provides distributed solar energy to households and small businesses in 70 countries, impacting the lives of nearly 100 million people.
About Shell New Energies
Shell’s New Energies business was created in 2016 and focuses on two main areas: new fuels for transport, such as advanced biofuels and hydrogen; and power, which includes low-carbon sources such as wind and solar. Within the power portfolio, Shell is also actively pursuing commercial opportunities to invest in energy access solutions in Africa and Asia. The New Energies business is supported by Shell Ventures B.V., the corporate venture capital arm of Royal Dutch Shell PLC.
EAV (www.eavafrica.com) is the leading smart infrastructure investment firm in Africa. With over 40 years of investment experience in Africa, EAV is uniquely positioned to take advantage of the emerging smart, distributed, cost-effective infrastructure market segment. EAV has carved out a reputation as a hands-on investor that works closely with its portfolio companies to capture the significant opportunity in Africa. EAV’s first fund (“EAV I”) was raised in February 2015 and is €75,000,000 in size with 9 investment professionals. The fund is sponsored by the leading French multinational Schneider Electric and is managed by Aster Capital in Paris. Its investors are CDC Group (UK), managing funds for the UK Department for International Development, the European Investment Bank, the Fonds d’Investissement et de Soutien aux Enterprises en Afrique (FISEA) held by Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and managed by Proparco, the Fonds Français pour l’Environnement Mondial (FFEM), administered by AFD, Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden (FMO), the Netherlands Development Finance Company the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) and Schneider Electric.