Uganda’s SolarNow gets $2m loan facility

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Ugandan startup SolarNow has secured a US$2 million loan facility from US and Tanzania-based fund SunFunder, to enable it to finance its quickly growing business providing customers with solar systems on 24 month payment plans.

Disrupt Africa has previously profiled SolarNow, which sells solar systems to rural households and businesses in Uganda with a 24-month credit facility in order to make them affordable.

SunFunder has been lending to SolarNow since 2013; and in 2015 lent the startup US$800,000.  As such, the current announcement that the loan facility has been expanded to US$2 million sees the facility significantly increased on previous years.

With the new funds available, SolarNow hopes to scale and provide power to more homes around Uganda on affordable payment plans.

“SunFunder has been a fantastic partner throughout this process,” said SolarNow’s managing director Willem Nolens.

“With this financing in place, the board and management believe our business is now well placed to accelerate our growth in Uganda and beyond.”

For the extended loan facility, SunFunder has designed a Structured Asset Finance Instrument (SAFI).

“The launch of SAFI marks a new chapter in our long-standing relationship with a top-quality solar company,” said Audrey Desiderato, SunFunder’s co-founder and chief operating officer (COO).

“Starting with small crowdfunded inventory loans in 2013, we provided larger working capital facilities funded through our Solar Empowerment Fund. The launch of SAFI marks a next step in our relationship and aims to efficiently deliver scale. We are proud to announce this market-leading transaction with SolarNow and play an important role in their continued success in the market.”

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Inspired and excited by the African tech entrepreneurial scene, Gabriella spends her time travelling around the continent to report on the most innovative tech startups, the most active investors, and the latest trends emerging in the ecosystem.

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