Clean Energy | June 21, 2023

Yellow raises $14 million for solar energy and smartphones financing in sub-Saharan Africa

Roodgally Senatus
ImpactAlpha Editor

Roodgally Senatus

ImpactAlpha, June 21 — Maya Stewart and Michael Heyink launched Yellow in 2017 to provide flexible financing for home solar systems to off-grid customers in Malawi. The company has expanded to Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia and Madagascar and added new products like smartphones.

Yellow’s more than 400,000 customers are screened by its online network of 1,100 agents. Customers pay a $10 deposit and repay the rest monthly over six to 24 months. Yellow’s most popular product is a solar home system with a panel and battery, four lights, a cell phone charger and radio.

“Yellow’s offering is tackling the triple challenge of financial inclusion, green energy distribution and broadband penetration, serving the unbanked communities of the lowest income countries in Africa,” said Brandon Doyle of Convergence, which led Yellow’s $14 million investment round with Energy Entrepreneurs Growth Fund and Platform Investment Partners.

Off-grid future

Off-grid pioneers like Zola, Sun King and M-KOPA are using different approaches to expand energy access. The number of people living without access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa has increased since the global Covid-19 pandemic.