D.light: Story, Founders, Investors & Funding Rounds
Founded in 2006 at Stanford, d.light is a global leader in solar energy, dedicated to providing the most reliable, affordable, and accessible solar lighting and power systems for people living in developing countries.
D. light currently provides distributed solar energy to households and small businesses in 70 countries and has impacted over 100 million lives. Innovative funding models have made d.light easily affordable, while sustainable designs have established confidence in the sustainability of solar energy
In 2004, Peace Corps volunteer Sam Goldman’s neighbor was badly burned in a kerosene accident in Benin, Africa. Sam knew there had to be better, safer ways to power homes and businesses in the developing world. After returning to North America from the Peace Corps, Sam enrolled in Stanford’s Entrepreneurial Design for Extreme Affordability class, where he met co-founder Ned Tozun.
In 2006, Ned and Sam founded d.light, developing the initial prototype solar lantern and an ambitious plan to bring safe, bright, clean lighting and power to people around the globe. d.light’s first commercial solar product made its debut in the marketplace in 2008.
D. light is a global leader in social transformation by making transformative products available and affordable to low-income families. Most of the customers they serve don’t have access to reliable power or financing, and d.light removes those barriers.
They enable reliable power through their solar energy solutions and enable financing with their Pay As You Go technology.
D. light has sold over 25 million products including solar lanterns, solar home systems, TVs, radios, and smartphones, impacting the lives of over 125 million people.
How it Works
Their groundbreaking solar lanterns and solar home systems come with an industry-leading 2-year warranty and are Lighting Global certified. d.light has sold over 20 million solar products across 65 different countries and is a global brand that you can trust.
Solar Lighting Brand
d.light is the world’s leading solar lighting brand. They have sold over 20 million solar products through 25,000 retail outlets across 70 different countries impacting the lives of over 100 million people. They employ over 800 people in offices in the USA, China, India, Kenya, Uganda, and Nigeria and have an additional 2,000 commission-based sales agents.
Designed in the USA
All d.light products are designed and tested in their R&D facility in the USA. They follow the human-centered design principles popularized by the design school (d.school) at Stanford University and solicit feedback from their customers on numerous prototypes before honing in on a design that meets the unique needs of their customers.
d.light has very many years of experience working in the field with their customers to design products that best suit their needs. They employ top-tier engineers and designers to create products that improve the lives of our customers.
Ned Tozun is the co-founder of d.light and led the company to impact the lives of over 100 million people with its range of solar-powered products.
Ned was the President of the company from 2007-2015 and the CEO from 2015 – 2022.
Ned has been recognized by BusinessWeek, Forbes, The Guardian, Social Venture Network, the Asia Society, and the World Economic Forum for his innovative leadership.
He and d.light co-founder Sam Goldman have been recognized as Social Entrepreneurs of the Year by the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, top 100 business visionaries creating value for the world by Business Insider, and ELITE Rising Stars by the 21st Century Icon Awards.
Sam is the co-founder and President of d.light. Over more than a decade, he has built and grown various functions in d.light, including its supply chain, global brand and marketing, product design and engineering teams, cloud and platform teams, and country offices in India and East Africa.
Sam has been selected as an Ashoka Fellow, World EconomicForum Young Global Leader, a Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur of the Year, a Next Generation Leader for Africa by the African Leadership Network, a Business Insider top 100 business visionary, and an ELITE Rising Star by the 21st Century Icon Awards.
He was awarded the 2014 Charles Bronfman Prize and the National Peace Corps Association’s 2011 Sargent Shriver Award for Distinguished Humanitarian Assistance.
His leadership has also been recognized by BusinessWeek, Forbes, The Guardian, and Social Venture Network.
Investors & Funding Rounds
The Facility for Energy Inclusion Off-Grid Energy Access Fund (FEI-OGEF)
The Facility for Energy Inclusion Off-Grid Energy Access Fund (FEI-OGEF), managed by Lion’s Head Global Partners (LHGP), has a $10 million debt investment in d.light.
Enphase Energy: It offers a micro-inverter system that delivers solar energy to homes and businesses.
Grasshopper Solar: Their vision is to transform the way we use resources by providing access to sustainable solutions.
Apex Clean Energy: This is a developer of commercial-scale wind and solar energy facilities.
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