UK-headquartered solar energy firm Azuri has received a US$5mn letter of credit facility from Standard Chartered for the deployment of its technology in Sub-Saharan Africa.

With the revolving facility, Azuri will manufacture more of its PayGo solar home systems, which allow users to pay for solar power on a pay-as-you-go basis using their mobile phones. These will then be sold in 13 markets across Sub-Saharan Africa, including Kenya, Ghana and Nigeria.

According to the bank, this is the first facility of its type for the off-grid solar market, and will eliminate the need for Azuri’s working capital to be tied up in stock before shipping the product to distribution partners.

Simon Bransfield-Garth, chief executive of Azuri, says: “As the PayGo industry matures, access to innovative debt finance mechanisms becomes an increasingly important part of being able to deliver continued market growth. We are delighted to have partnered with Standard Chartered Bank to deliver this innovative facility.”

Sean Hanafin, head of corporate coverage, UK and European sectors at Standard Chartered, adds: “This facility is aligned with our ‘Banking the Ecosystem’ strategy, deploying innovative solutions to finance clients’ ecosystems of international suppliers, distributors and customers, driving global trade and commerce.”

Since 2011, Azuri has sold about 90,000 solar home systems, reaching approximately half a million people.