by The Globe and Mail’s Report on Business
Toronto, September 30, 2022 – Solar Panda, a Canadian company that provides solar systems to off-grid homes in sub-Saharan Africa, has been ranked as one of the fastest growing companies in Canada by Report on Business Magazine, a publication of Canada’s newspaper of record, The Globe and Mail. Solar Panda joins an elite group of companies that made the list for two consecutive years, demonstrating sustained growth. Solar Panda had revenue growth of 430% in 2022, ranking #108 in Canada (in 2021, it ranked #3 in Canada with a growth rate of 10,465%).
Solar Panda was founded by Andy Keith, a serial entrepreneur in the renewable energy sector. Solar Panda started selling off-grid solar home systems in Kenya in 2017 and has since rocketed to become a leader in the industry. In the past year Solar Panda achieved the remarkable milestone of having brought light to over 1,000,000 people in Kenya through its solar home systems. These systems transform lives by displacing toxic and dangerous kerosene lanterns, giving children clean light to study by, providing access to entertainment and information, and making virtually all daily tasks easier.
“We’re excited and honoured to be recognized and included on this distinguished list for the second time,” says Andy Keith, CEO. “In a year filled with challenges due to the pandemic, Solar Panda was able to make great strides towards improving the lives of many Kenyans. We hit the milestone of providing electricity to 1 million people, acquired the operations of another solar-home-system company, substantially expanded our sales network, and secured our first round of equity. I’m so proud of the resiliency, dedication, and passion our team has shown.”
In the past 5 years, Solar Panda has grown to a company with 300 employees (51% women), over 1,000 sales agents and 37 stores across Kenya. Since the beginning, Solar Panda has been focused on sustainable growth, was profitable prior to the pandemic and is on track to return to profitability, a feat which has eluded most companies operating in this nascent sector.
“Developing countries will continue to feel the effects of the pandemic for some time, but we are seeing encouraging signs of recovery”, says Andy Keith. “We have exciting expansion plans for the next year and have every intention of being on this list again in 2023. There are still nearly a billion people in the world without access to electricity, and so we are just getting started!”
Solar Panda closed a US$8M Series A round of equity in July and is currently working on a second equity raise to support its ambitious growth plans. Solar Panda is seeking mission-aligned investors who not only recognize the large business opportunity but are also passionate about ending the injustice in the world that over a billion people still lack access to electricity.
About Solar Panda
Solar Panda, headquartered in Canada and Nairobi, manufactures and sells solar home systems that include lights, mobile charging, and a television through its network of 37 shops and 1,000 sales agents across Kenya. Solar home systems are financed to customers to make them affordable, allowing customers to pay small daily amounts for access to reliable electricity. Now in more than 200,000 homes, Solar Panda (www.solarpanda.com) is bringing clean, affordable electricity to 1,000,000 Kenyans.