Greenlight Planet Inc.

East Africa,Africa Infrastructure

Greenlight Planet provides solar home systems on a pay-as-you-go basis to 11.2 million people across Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Nigeria.

Our investment

CDC’s investment is expected to improve quality of life for consumers by financing sales growth of Greenlight Planet’s products to improve access to clean and affordable energy and financial services. The investment will reach primarily low-income peri-urban and rural consumers in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. The investment is expected to reach up to 1.9 million households, reporting quality of life increases including improved health and safety. Local currency financing is not available at scale due to operating in a nascent industry.


Improve quality of life through extending access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services and financial services (SDGs 7.1, 7.2 and 1.4).


Direct: Finance sales growth, by providing debt capital to fund Greenlight Planet’s receivables book for PAYGo solar home system (SHS) products, enabling more affordable access to energy services and unbanked customers to establish credit histories.

Stakeholder Geography Characteristics

85 per cent Kenya (category ‘C’ country), 9 per cent Tanzania (category ‘B’ country), 6 per cent Uganda (category ‘A’ country)

Primarily (80 per cent) rural and peri-urban consumers. 77 per cent of Greenlight Planet’s current Kenyan customers are low-income, living below $5.50 per day (PPP adjusted) and 49 per cent live in relative poverty, living below $3.20 per day.

Scale Depth/Duration

The investment is expected to finance sufficient receivables to reach up to 1.9 million customer households through sales of SHSs.

Expected to be deep as 77 per cent of Greenlight Planet’s Kenyan customers are accessing off-grid solar products for the first time. Surveyed customers report a 102 per cent increase in hours of light and eliminating on average 75 per cent of kerosene consumption after acquiring a SHS, suggesting savings on long-term energy expenditure. 74 per cent of customers also report feeling health improvements and 87 per cent report increased sense of safety as a result of their SHS, indicating overall significant quality of life improvements.

Grid Score Contribution


This investment is made under an approved Catalyst Strategy, and therefore does not require a grid score.

Market context: The off-grid solar market remains nascent with mostly early-stage businesses.

To help us direct our investments, we use a tool called the Development Impact Grid. The Grid scores every investment we plan out of a score of four, based on two factors: the difficulty of investing in the country and whether investment in that sector will lead to jobs.

  • Financial: The commercial market does not offer capital in sufficient quantities to meet the company's plans / needs. CDC is providing local currency debt financing, which is not available at scale from commercial lenders on competitive terms.
  • Value-add: CDC is supporting Greenlight Planet’s objectives to meet best-practice consumer protection standards.
  • Execution: Relates to the risk of being unable to expand receivables portfolio at the expected rate and thus deliver impact. This is directly correlated with commercial risk.
  • Alignment: Relates to the risk of reducing reach to lowest income consumers as the sector increasingly focuses on higher-margin products to drive growth plans. Mitigated by plans to continue existing product lines, and across the sector improved margins could help SHS businesses increase reach to lower-income customers in absolute terms.

Environmental and social aspects

We agreed an environmental and social action plan with Greenlight Planet which included the development of a formal environmental and social management system (ESMS), occupational health and safety measures, supply-chain management and electronic waste management.

Key facts


Since 2012, we’ve only invested in Africa and South Asia. Investments outside these regions are from our pre-2012 portfolio.

Africa, East Africa

We have seven priority sectors. However, we continue to invest outside these sectors, largely in the most challenging regions, as new investment supporting any sector helps to underpin the private sector, and create jobs and livelihoods for people.

Investment type

We provide capital in three broad ways: direct equity, debt, and intermediated equity (principally through investment funds).

Direct Debt
Start date

For direct investments, this is the date CDC committed capital to the business or project.

For funds, this is the date that CDC committed capital to the fund.

For underlying fund investments, this is the date that the fund invested capital into the business.e

March 2020

For direct investments, this is the total amount that CDC has committed to the business or project (it may be a combination of equity and debt).

For funds, this is the total amount that CDC has committed to the fund.


This is the investee company’s place of incorporation; or a fund’s jurisdiction.


CDC is becoming British International Investment