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Simpa Networks Announces Commercial Debt Financing to Scale Up Its Clean Electricity Solutions in Rural India



Wednesday, December 17, 2014

(OPIC)  $4 million from OPIC and GDF Suez provides financing to electrify 50,000+ households

BANGALORE – Simpa, which sells solar-as-a-service to energy-poor households and micro-enterprises in rural India, today announced that it has completed a $4 million debt financing round. The financing has been provided by Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government’s development finance institution, and by GDF Suez through their Rassembleurs d’Energies program.

An estimated 400 million people in rural India still do not have access to an electricity grid. Distributed solar-powered electricity systems are dramatically improving the quality of life for energy-poor families and promoting economic activity by enabling small businesses to extend their working days.

“Rural India is rising, and we are creating new opportunities to invest in its growth”, said Paul Needham, President and Co-Founder of Simpa Networks. “This new debt investment, the first of its kind in India, will help us scale our for-profit solution to the problem of energypoverty. It validates our model and proves a pathway to mobilize commercial debt capital at scale. Clean electricity for rising rural India is an investible proposition.”

Simpa operates in rural Uttar Pradesh, an Indian state with severe power deficit. The new debt facility will enable Simpa to reach 200,000 people with clean, reliable electricity services.

“Simpa’s inclusive approach to spreading energy access makes them an ideal partner for OPIC’s impact-focused development investment strategy,” said Elizabeth Littlefield, OPIC’s President and CEO. “The kind of technological leap Simpa and like-minded innovators are achieving proves that off-grid, clean energy in emerging markets is not merely viable, but a true opportunity both financially and environmentally.”

“Globally, more than one billion people lack access to modern electricity. We invest in forprofit solutions that can scale to meet this challenge,” said Jérôme Broutin, CFO at GDF Suez Rassembleurs d’Energies. “In Simpa, we have an opportunity to support a growth stage company scale up its impact to reach tens of thousands more people with affordable, clean, renewable electricity.”