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Solar equipment manufacturing startup Orb Energy raises $15 Mn


Bengaluru-based solar energy systems company Orb Energy has raised $15 million in a part-equity and part-debt round. The funding round saw participation from the Dutch development bank FMO, US-based Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), African finance institution Pamiga and Germany’s development finance institution DEG.

With this, the company has amassed $26 million in total funding.

According to the startup, the fresh funding will be used to grow the company’s in-house finance facility of rooftop solar for small-and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in India and to also expand its operations in Kenya.

To fuel the adoption of solar panels easier, Orb offers finance packages without collateral.

Incorporated in 2006, Orb provides solar energy systems such as solar panels and water heaters and has sold over 150,000 systems in India. It manufactures its own solar photovoltaic panels and solar water heating systems through two manufacturing plants in southern India.

The company has a cumulative installation of over 30 MW of rooftop solar systems over the past decade.

Also Read: Govt plans to levy 7.5% tariff on imported solar panels

According to Damian Miller, CEO of Orb Energy, the solar firm will generate revenues of over Rs 100 crore in FY18 and it is projecting a 40-50% increase in topline growth over the next three years.

For FY19, we are targeting revenues of Rs 150-160 crore,” Miller told ET.

With a production capacity of 2-3 MW per month currently, Miller is targetting to increase production to reach the full capacity of 60 MW over the next year.

Recent developments in solar energy space in India

Of late, Indian Solar Industry is going through a bright phase. Government levy, local manufacturers as well as foreign companies are quite interested in the segment.

Indian manufacturers have long been troubled by Chinese companies in almost every industry. Now, they are facing a new challenge from China in the cleantech sector including solar.

Last month, Chinese firm LONGi Green Energy Technology initiated talks with the Indian government and planning to set up a solar equipment manufacturing facility in India.

Claimed as the second largest homegrown consumer goods company, Baba Ramdev-led Patanjali Ayurved is also set to foray into manufacturing solar power equipment with an investment of Rs 100 crore.

Earlier, this year, Patanjali acquired Noida-based Advance Navigation and Solar Technologies Pvt. Ltd, a manufacturer of navigation aid equipment. Currently, the facility has a manufacturing capacity of 120 megawatts.

The Indian government is also giving a push to the clean energy and aims to achieve 175 GW of renewable energy by 2020 and 100 GW of solar energy by 2022.

While heavily funded local players like CleanMax Solar and Oorjan have been able to reach out the people, newly entrant solar startup Zunroof has been trying to fuel the adoption of solar energy in households.

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