How d.light is growing its off-grid solar business: Design and distribution

Gigaom

There are hundreds of different kinds of off-grid lighting and solar products being made and sold into rural villages in India and Africa where hundreds of millions of people have no access to grid electricity. But very few companies have been able to sell these products at any significant scale.

Why? As d.light CEO Donn Tice told me in a recent interview in the company’s San Francisco office, “Building distribution [to those places] is really, really hard.” The regions often lack easy-to-navigate and established transportation and shipping systems to get the goods there, payment systems to make the transactions and legal systems to ensure sales. Hiring in many remote regions is especially difficult.

D.light Raises $5.5M for Solar-Powered LED LightsDespite the hurdles, d.light, now in its seventh year, has emerged as the largest maker of the emerging and important category of off-grid home solar devices. The company has grown dramatically in recent years and has…

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