According to a press statement issued by Orb, the new investment is likely to help more small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the country. Orb Energy offers SMEs credit to invest in their rooftop solar systems.
“SMEs are woefully underserved in the rooftop solar sector in India. Orb’s unique network of salespeople, channel partners, and installers have an exceptional reach to the SMEs. That coupled with our in-house finance facility for SMEs, means that Orb is unique in providing a total solution to SMEs who would like to invest in lower cost, clean power from solar,” Damian Miller, Orb Energy’s chief executive officer told Mercom via email.
Meanwhile, Brian Davis, vice-president of 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 great potential to contribute to the country’s renewable energy ambitions.”
The existing investors in Orb Energy include FMO (the Netherlands), Bamboo Capital Partners (Luxembourg), Rianta Captial (Switzerland), Acumen Capital Market Funds I (USA) and Pamiga SA (Luxembourg).
Previously, Mercom had reported that Orb Energy raised nearly $15 million (~₹954 million) in equity and debt to expand its in-house finance facility of rooftop solar projects for SMEs in India and Kenya. While the Netherlands Development Finance Company (FMO) provided $4 million (~₹254 million) in equity funding, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) provided $10 million (~₹636 million) as long-term debt.
Meanwhile, last year it was reported that Cleantech Solar, a Singapore-based renewable energy project developer, announced that Shell Eastern Petroleum Ltd (Shell) would acquire a 49% stake in the company.
According to Mercom’s 1H 2019 solar Funding and M&A Report, in the first half of 2019 (1H 2019), funding activity in the solar sector was on an upward trajectory when compared to the same period last year. Total corporate funding (including venture capital funding, public market, and debt financing) for the solar sector globally came to $6 billion in the first half of 2019.
Image credit: Orb Energy
Anjana is a news editor at Mercom India. Before joining Mercom, she held roles of senior editor, district correspondent, and sub-editor for The Times of India, Biospectrum and The Sunday Guardian. Before that, she worked at the Deccan Herald and the Asianlite as chief sub-editor and news editor. She has also contributed to The Quint, Hindustan Times, The New Indian Express, Reader’s Digest (UK edition), IndiaSe (Singapore-based magazine) and Asiaville. Anjana holds a Master’s degree in Geography from North Bengal University, and a diploma in mass communication and journalism from Guru Ghasidas University, Bhopal.