MUMBAI , 16, April 2012: Greenlight Planet Inc. closed an investment round of 4mm USD with Bamboo Finance and Dr. P. K. Sinha, Co-Founder of ZS Associates. The current round follows earlier investments by Dr. Sinha.
Greenlight Planet is a leading designer and distributor of solar-LED home lights, which are poised to replace kerosene lamps as the dominant indoor light source for the billion-plus people living without reliable access to an electrical grid, primarily in rural areas of the developing world. Greenlight Planet designs its award-winning Sun King™ brand solar lanterns with a focus on durability recognized as unique in the industry, and distributes the lights through a growing direct-sales force comprised of local community members. The new investment will be used to expand Greenlight's successful model nationwide in India, grow its global partnerships, and to innovate the next generation of high-quality, low-cost energy products specifically designed for rural consumers.
With the closing of this investment round, Mr Keith Allman from Bamboo Finance joins on the company's board of directors which is currently composed of Dr. P. K. Sinha and the founders, Mayank Sekhsaria, Anish Thakkar, and T. Patrick Walsh.
“Bamboo Finance has a great interest in companies providing underserved communities access to energy. With our prior experience in investing in rural electrification companies, we found that Greenlight Planet developed a remarkable business model, which entails the production of high quality products as well as a unique and scalable distribution method to maximize market penetration. Moreover, management spends a significant amount of time in the field to better understand the needs of their clients and transforms that understanding into innovative products. We are delighted to take part in shaping the promising future of Greenlight Planet and expanding access to energy to rural communities”, says Keith Allman, Investment Manager, Bamboo Finance.
Dr. Sinha adds “Having grown up with kerosene lanterns in rural Bihar, a core Sun King market, I understand the enormous opportunity and the tremendous economic and health benefits of our solar lamps. I am pleased to continue to invest in Greenlight Planet’s great products and innovative distribution model. But above all, I am investing in its founding team who will undoubtedly continue on the path of learning and innovation. I look forward to “6 by 6” -- Sun King reaching 6 million households by 2016.”
Greenlight’s CTO, T. Patrick Walsh adds “We have been thrilled to work with the Bamboo Finance team and Dr. Sinha, who believe like us that in this rapidly growing industry, profit only follows the efficient delivery of true social utility. The board remains driven by our conviction that the company offering the best user experience will win: We have exciting challenges and hard work ahead, as this investment allows us to massively expand to meet the energy needs of an enormous under-served consumer base.”
About Greenlight Planet Inc.
Greenlight Planet designs and distributes solar-powered lanterns to villagers in rural India and Africa: remarkably useful products that are unfamiliar to our disconnected consumers. At 19 USD, our Sun King™ solar lantern costs the equivalent of two weeks' wages for the average consumer. But in many villages, 30% of households have purchased our product and given up the dim, dirty kerosene lighting forever.
About Prabha Sinha
Dr. P. K. Sinha is the co-founder of ZS Associates, a 2000-person global sales and marketing consulting firm. His role in the success of ZS was recognized by his induction into the Chicago Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame in 2005. A former member of the Marketing faculty at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, he has taught in executive education programs at Kellogg, London Business School, Indian School of Business and the Gordon Institute of Business Science. He has co-authored several books including Building a Winning Sales Force (2009) and The Complete Guide to Accelerating Sales Force Performance (2001). Dr. Sinha invests in businesses that target the under-served, and helps these companies build their sales and distribution networks.
Greenlight Planet contact
Anish Thakkar, Co-Founder
O: +91 22 4911 1555
M: +91 96191 24385