M&G announces it has invested in Sun King, the largest provider of solar energy products for off-grid homes in Africa and Asia. Sun King has powered the lives of 82 million people across 40 countries with solar energy – powering lights, mobile phones, radios, and larger home appliances.
The company is leading a transformation in how electricity is provided across Africa and Asia, where 1.8 billion people still lack access to a reliable electrical grid. Sun King’s 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. The company has raised $260 million in Series D financing to continue its expansion, by both geography and product-line.
Sun King operates the world’s largest direct-to-consumer, pay-as-you-go solar distribution network. In Kenya, one in five people already use Sun King for home lighting and energy, and the company is growing rapidly across the continent: In Nigeria, its user base tripled in the past year. The company has eliminated 22 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions while saving consumers $4.4 billion in energy costs.
The investment has been made by M&G’s Catalyst strategy, which is investing up to £5 billion into innovative privately-owned global businesses working to create a more sustainable world.
T. Patrick Walsh, co-founder and CEO of Sun King, says: “This investment in Sun King marks an incredible inflection point for the global off-grid solar industry. Over the last 15 years, we have delivered solar energy and light to over 82 million people, enabling kids to study for school, helping entrepreneurs run small businesses, and allowing families to power their lives, free from the danger and high cost of kerosene lanterns.
“This landmark investment allows us to continue scaling our technology, service, and financing capabilities so we can meet the needs of the next billion energy consumers.”
Alex Seddon, Head of M&G’s Catalyst Team, comments: “Catalyst is delighted to support the growth of such a purposeful business, aligning with our aim to help create a more sustainable world. Sun King is using innovation to improve the lives of underserved people, making powerful positive impact for communities in Africa and Asia as well as helping tackle climate change”.