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  Monthly Newsletter
  June 2010
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D.light Design is an international consumer products company delivering quality energy solutions to millions of families living off-grid. Our mission is to enable households without reliable electricity to attain the same quality of life as those with electricity. We will begin by replacing every kerosene lantern with clean, safe and bright light.
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D.light Closes $5.5 Million Series B Financing

On June 24, D.light closed a new round of financing worth $5.5M USD. The round was led by the new investor Omidyar Network. The new funding will support rapidly increasing our distribution throughout Africa, Asia, Pacific and the Americas, as well as expanding our product line beyond solar lighting. Omidyar Network, which was created by Pierre Omidyar, the founder of eBay, was drawn to D.light’s innovative product design, strong business model, and scalable approach to meeting the urgent needs of people living without reliable electricity in emerging markets.

Jayant Sinha, Managing Director of Omidyar Network India, will join D.light’s Board of Directors. Mr Sinha brings 20 years of investing and strategy experience to this role, as well as deep expertise advising businesses in emerging markets. “Omidyar Network believes that D.light is at a critical inflection point on its path to massive social impact,” said Sinha. “Our investment enables D.light to scale its pursuit of customer-focused design with extreme affordability, a combination poised to unleash greater opportunity for millions.“

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Towards a brighter future, 3 years later

Three years after starting D.light, and after successfully closing our latest financing round, it is important to reflect on what we have created. Looking back on our growth, the first year was about getting our feet under us, the second year was about setting up basic infrastructure, opening offices and putting our teams in place, and this last year has been the true start to generating the volumes we need to achieve our 2020 goal — which is to provide 100 Million people without electricity the same quality of life as those with electricity. Today, we have a dedicated, strong, and growing team of 75 D.light employees in 4 offices around the world who work tirelessly to eliminate the need for families to rely on dangerous and expensive kerosene lanterns.

As a result of our teams’ efforts, we have impacted the lives of over 1,400,000 people in more than 30 countries, with most of our growth in the last year. We have grown with the help of dedicated partners, both in the factories, our technology suppliers, our investors, and very importantly our sales partners. We successfully work with hundreds of distribution partners around the world, selling the vast majority of our products through channels as varied as rural entrepreneurs, door to door, major retail chains, microfinance organizations, rural mom & pop shop shops, supermarkets, roaming vans, and even internet resellers like Amazon.

These partners are making a living and growing their business and employee bases along with D.light and are strongly supportive of our efforts. In addition to these more traditional distribution channels, we have established partnerships with dozens of NGOs, both large and small, which offer us the opportunity to innovate and open sales channels to customers that otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford our products, either because their incomes are too low, they have suffered a natural disaster, or because they reside in distant localities.

We are excited about the opportunities and challenges ahead. We have a new pipeline of products being designed to make grid services affordable for everyone, and we have many distribution partners who want to help us bring our products to dozens of new countries and millions more people with higher aspirations than kerosene – but limited means. We want to sincerely thank everyone who has supported D.light and its mission thus far.

Thank you for helping us to build a brighter future.    [Sam Goldman, CEO]



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D.light wins prestigious Ashden Awards for Sustainable Design

On July 1, D light was awarded first place with the Ashden Gold
Award for Sustainable Energy 2010
. The prize, worth 60,000 USD,
was announced during the Ashden Ceremony in London by noted
environmentalist and broadcaster Sir David Attenborough.

In the words of the judges, D.light was chosen for the Gold Award for “its passion and dedication to the cause of ridding the developing world of the health and pollution problems associated with the use
of kerosene lighting through the design, manufacture and promotion of durable and affordable solar lanterns.”

Founded in 2001, the Ashden Awards are an internationally recognised yardstick for excellence in the field of sustainable energy, with the mission to address climate change and alleviate poverty.
The award to D.light drew attention from BBC, CNN, and other major media outlets. Watch Ashden's video on D.light

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D.light launches in Timor Leste

Recently, D.light launched its solar products in East Timor, the world’s youngest nation with a population of about one million people.  The entire country is rebuilding after a devastating conflict in 2002, in which 70% of its infrastructure was destroyed. In addition to working with distributors in East Timor, we have launched a special initiative in the district of Oecusse, in a particularly devastated area of the country. 99% of the 67,000 residents in Oecusse do not have access to electricity or regular distribution channels. In partnership with an NGO named Kopernik, we have established the goal of providing light to every single household in the district, thus improving their lives in a significant way.
 
Because the families of Oecusse are extremely impoverished, Kopernik is seeking financial support from individual donors like you to subsidize the cost of the lights. For less than $7 per person, you can provide quality solar light to someone in East Timor, thus increasing his or her income, educational opportunities, health and safety. Make a tax-deductible donation today! To learn more, click here.

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(c)2010 D.light Design