2030 Finance | May 18, 2015

Solar Lanterns Scale Up as D.light Reaches 10 million Units

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Solar-lantern producer d.light said it has sold its 10 millionth unit, and that its off-grid electricity now reaches 50 million people in 62 countries.

D.light is backed by the Sand Hill Road venture capital firm DFJ, as well as impact investors including Acumen Fund, Omidyar Network, and Gray Ghost Ventures. It raised $11 million in its Series C funding round last year and has $40 million in total.

D.light’s CEO Ned Tozun hailed the 10 million milestone as evidence that a market-based social enterprise can make a dent in “energy poverty.” At least a billion people in the developing world lack access to reliable energy. According to  d.light’s latest impact report, its products have offset four million tons of CO2, saved $1.7 billion in energy expenditures, reached 12 million school children with solar lights and generated 75 GWh of renewable electricity. The company estimates an average of five people benefit from every lantern.

“d.light is proving that social enterprises can scale and spark the kind of change needed to solve some of the world’s biggest problems,” Tozun said.

Sam Goldman, d.light’s co-founder, said the company’s first 50 million users is just the beginning. Within months, he said, the company will introduce “a game-changing product to empower the next 50 million in just three years.”