15 September, 2021 Member article

ARE Member SunFunder Finances Yellow’s Solar Kits with a USD 4m Loan in Malawi

13 September 2021 – Fund manager SunFunder is providing a USD 4m loan to Yellow. The loan will support the company’s growing sales of solar home systems. With over 110,000 units sold, Yellow has improved energy access for more than 400,000 people, mitigating 12,000 tons of CO2 emissions per year as they replace kerosene with clean solar lighting and other devices. The company has also created over 800 local jobs. Like many businesses distributing solar home systems in off-grid areas, Yellow offers their customers credit by selling their products on a pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) basis. Despite being a relative newcomer, the company has instilled a highly impressive credit operation, through automation and training.

“Yellow has quickly established itself as a leading off-grid solar operator,” said Collins Kuindwa, Investment Officer at SunFunder. “We are particularly pleased to be starting this new partnership having stayed in contact since their early days – supporting new players, as a trusted advisor and partner rather than just financier, is built into SunFunder’s own journey helping to establish the off-grid solar sector.”

“The mission to electrify millions of households in Africa through the efficient distribution of PAYGO solar home systems is an incredible commercial, social and environmental opportunity. We are thrilled to have a leader in the field like SunFunder endorse Yellow’s business model, and provide the finance to enable our continued expansion.” said Mike Heyink, Yellow’s founder and CEO.

There are still 570 million people in sub-Saharan Africa without access to electricity, and achieving universal energy access under the UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG7) by 2030 requires highly effective companies to be supported to reach scale. SunFunder sees this as a crucial decade to do all we can to make high-impact climate investments for sustainable development – thanks to partnerships with well-run businesses like Yellow.