Dhaka, Bangladesh—Global impact investment manager SEAF announced that is has exited SEAF Bangladesh Ventures’ investment in Solar Intercontinental – SOLARIC – a producer/distributor of 3rd generation solar energy home systems and nano-grids focused on improving the energy structure of Bangladesh and other frontier markets. SEAFBV – an SME Ventures fund – initially invested in the company in May 2011, providing both equity and term credit to help bring the business from startup to a growth-stage enterprise, one which provides clean solar energy solutions to more than 250,000 people. The exit was finalized in April of 2015. Solaric’s owner, Didar Islam, said: “We are grateful to SEAF and IFC for backing us when we started. We could not have achieved our success without their partnership.”
Founded in 2009, SOLARIC develops and manufactures solar energy home systems, backup systems, and nano-grid systems. These systems allow for rural, off-grid populations to access reliable, affordable technology in their homes and businesses. Through SOLARIC technology, more than 250,000 people across more than 34,000 villages have gained access to clean energy for the first time. SOLARIC has also created more than 300 quality jobs across its operations, increasing its social impact footprint. From startup to present, SOLARIC has grown its revenues to more than USD $6.6m in 2014 and a forecast USD $11m in 2015.
The Company’s proprietary and patented micro-inverter technology optimizes energy efficiency and improves the useful life of the technology by enabling the use of smaller batteries and solar energy panels, significantly reducing the installation and maintenance costs. In addition, nano-grid systems are structured with decentralized payment systems which utilize mobile banking technology for distribution, allowing for localized management of an energy grid.
SOLARIC is expanding beyond Bangladesh, to Nepal, Tanzania, and India, partnering with groups such as Grameen Bank to grow their user base. By expanding the use of renewable solar energy, families can reduce their reliance on kerosene, with more than 230,000 lamps being replaced. Rural farmers can replace diesel generators, using clean energy to power their operations and reduce pollution. The CO2 reduction per year is more than 13,000 metric tons and growing, proof of the positive effect of renewable energy.
SOLARIC will continue to deliver clean, affordable, and reliable solar energy to under-served markets, and their success is validation of SEAF’s mission to provide capital to businesses in frontier markets that can create financial and social impact.
SEAF is a global impact investment manager. We achieve meaningful and measurable economic development results and positive financial returns by providing entrepreneurs in under-served markets with the capital, knowledge, and networks they need to grow their businesses. Since 1989, SEAF has invested $398 million in 381 companies in 26 countries. The entrepreneurs leading these companies create and deliver products and services that improve the lives of people in their communities in a financially, socially and environmentally sustainable manner. For more about SEAF, see www.seaf.com.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. Working with private enterprises in about 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. Private equity funds are an IFC priority, and IFC invests approximately $500 million each year in emerging market private equity funds. Within IFC’s funds group, the SME Ventures program provides risk capital and technical assistance to high-growth firms in frontier, fragile and post-conflict markets, overseeing four funds in six countries. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
About SEAF BV
SEAF Bangladesh Ventures (SEAF BV) provides high-growth SMEs with structured capital and quasi-equity investments. The company focuses exclusively on providing growth and working capital to promising companies of this size in Bangladesh. SEAF BV was conceived through the International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) SME Ventures Program – an initiative designed to support risk capital financing to SMEs in underserved emerging markets. SEAF BV focuses on key sectors in Bangladesh that represent strong growth opportunities but lack access to traditional sources of finance.