Orb Energy set to raise $15 million debt funds

Klene Paks Rooftop Solar Installation. (DH photo)

Orb Energy, a provider of solar energy solutions, is looking to raise $15 million (over Rs 100 crore) debt this year to augment its capital base.

The company, last week, raised an undisclosed amount from Shell’s New Energies business by divesting an almost 20% stake in the firm in a Series C round of funding.

The fresh investment will help the company to extend finance to small and medium enterprises, a largely underserved part of the market, to go for installation of solar power. Orb Energy offers SMEs credit to invest in their own rooftop solar systems, driving Orb Energy’s growth in sales.

“The latest round of funding will enable us to increase our portfolio of financing SMEs. During the current financial year, we are looking at extending Rs 50 crore to SMEs,” Damian Miller, Chief Executive Officer, Orb Energy told DH.

“We are already in talks with many Indian banks to raise debt. We expect to close the deal by end of the current fiscal,” Miller said.

Shell’s investment will power the next phase of our growth and ensure that more underserved SMEs in India can benefit from clean, lower-cost electricity from solar,” he added.

Orb manufactures its own solar panels and provides integrated solutions for rooftop solar electricity generation systems, largely to SMEs. Since its inception in 2006, Orb has sold more than 160,000 solar systems in India with cumulative installations of 65 MW of rooftop solar systems. It imports solar cells from Taiwan and assembles them into solar PV panels at its factory in Yeshwantpur.

Orb Energy carried out 27 MW solar installations in FY19 and it is aiming at around 40% growth in FY20.

It plans to expand into Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Telangana among other states during this year.

The company, which reported a topline of Rs 135 crore in 2018-19, is aiming at a growth of 30% by the end of March 2020.

Existing investors in Orb Energy include FMO (The Netherlands), Bamboo Capital Partners (Luxembourg), Rianta Capital (Switzerland), Acumen Capital Market Funds-I (USA), and Pamiga SA (Luxembourg). Unitus Capital acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Orb Energy for this transaction.

Commenting on their investment in Orb Energy, Brian Davis, Vice President, Shell Energy Solutions, said, “We were attracted by Orb Energy’s focus on providing cleaner and affordable energy solutions to SMEs in India. This is a vital and growing sector, with potential to contribute to the country’s renewable energy ambitions.”

The current investment in Orb Energy is part of Shell’s vision to provide a reliable electricity supply to 100 million people in the developing world by 2030, he said.

 

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