A Case Study in Solar Investment Success – Freyr Energy
Established in 2014, Freyr Energy Services designs, builds and transfers solar systems for residential, micro, small and medium commercial and industrial customers in India.
Freyr’s services are offered through its integrated mobile application, SunPro+, that facilitates the sale of rooftop systems through channel partners. Through their network of over 250 active channel partners across India, Freyr has established over 1,200 installations in 19 states. In addition, Freyr has built a strong track record in the execution of microgrid projects backed by the Government of India.
To learn more about Freyr Energy, continue reading or sign up to Impact Partners to support this high impact enterprise.
Freyr – investment background
On 27 November 2018, Freyr Energy (“Freyr”)—an India-based full-service solar solutions firm providing access to cleaner, safer, and cheaper energy—closed a $1.5 million Series A round on Impact Partners—the world’s largest crowdfunding platform for impact investing. Operated by Singapore-based IIX, Impact Partners brought together a consortium of global investors including Netherlands-based C4D Partners and India-based angel investors. According to IIX’s impact assessment, funding will expand access to reliable and affordable solar energy to 2,275 households and 2,975 businesses, enable 675 off-grid rural villages to enjoy electricity for the first time through micro-grids, and avoid 167,270 metric tons of CO2 emissions by 2022.
Durreen Shahnaz, Founder and CEO of IIX, said: “IIX is proud to work with Freyr Energy to provide access to affordable clean energy—which opens the door to better health and well-being, living conditions, food security, economic growth, and the security and safety of those most vulnerable to conflict. Their work is also disrupting daily gender inequalities, with 87% of women in India feeling safer walking in their villages with access to electricity. Through a combination of IIX’s Impact Partners crowdfunding platform, our technical assistance program ACTS, and our proprietary impact assessment methodology, enterprises such as Freyr Energy can measure and communicate their social and environmental impact, connect to global investors, and raise capital to benefit more underserved communities.
Getting investment ready
Freyr is among the 2017 cohort of graduates from IIX’s ACTS (Acceleration for Capacity-building and Technical Services) program – which supports impact enterprises in becoming investment ready by providing technical assistance and an impact assessment. Funded by USAID in 2017, the graduates of ACTS have the opportunity to raise capital through Impact Partners – which raises both debt and equity for growth-stage high-impact enterprises. Launched in 2011, the platform connects over 1,000 accredited investors around the world—representing over US$9.9 billion in assets—to high-potential opportunities that generate social and environmental impact alongside financial returns.
Established in 2014, Freyr is a triple bottom line impact enterprise—a company that generates social and environmental returns alongside financial profit—that helps homeowners, businesses, and remote villages to access and invest in solar energy while contributing to a cleaner planet. Freyr enables more people to shift to solar energy by providing affordable rooftop systems for those underserved by the national power grid, and designing and building microgrid projects for remote villages and areas of social and economic unrest. The firm has developed a proprietary technology platform and mobile application, SunPro, that makes it easier for anyone from any background to sell or install solar systems, and uses algorithms to identify the best solar solution for customers.
Saurabh Marda, Co-Founder of Freyr Energy, said: “Freyr Energy is committed to leveraging its technology platform to accelerate growth of decentralized solar both in India and major solar markets around the world. The funds raised will be used to continue improving our technology platform, increase the strength of our sales and channel partner network and support our marketing activities to fuel future growth.”
The Company has recorded a 16-fold growth in revenue in the last four years and has been profitable for the last two years. Freyr Energy currently has 1000+ installations across 18 States in India and a customer base in USA, Nigeria and Ghana. Freyr has just completed a 640 KW solar rooftop project in Manipur, which includes one of the largest off-grid 100 KW battery-powered systems in the country. Its other Co-founder Radhika Choudary is one among the top 10 winners at the Women Entrepreneur Quest (WEQ) 2017.
Arvind Agarwal, Managing Director of C4D, said: “The capital support from C4D Partners will help Freyr Energy to create more than 2,000 direct jobs and support more than 400 micro-entrepreneurs in the next five years. Freyr has a strong technology platform to scale the business and achieve a wider customer base in India and internationally. We will continue to invest in Fryer in the future rounds as well to unlock synergies with other portfolio companies globally.”
Entering a critical new market
Of the world’s 1.3 billion people who live without access to electricity, a quarter — about 300 million — live in rural India. Millions more live with spotty supplies of electricity from the country’s unreliable power grid. To meet the demand, government leaders assert India must continue to increase its fossil fuel consumption, a form of energy which results in increased greenhouse gas emissions, high cost for backup generators, health issues, and business disruptions due to unreliable energy supply. If India’s carbon emissions continue to escalate, India will overtake the United States as the world’s second-highest emitter by 2040.