Venture firms back Indian lighting company

Nexus India Capital has led a group of venture firms including DFJ in providing $5.5m to D.light Design, which aims to do away with polluting fuel-based lighting.

Nexus India Capital has led $5.5 million funding of D.light Design, a Cayman Islands-headquartered company based in Delhi, which specialises in providing off-grid lighting.

Other participating investors in the round included venture firms Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Garage Technology Ventures, along with Indian conglomerate Mahindra & Mahindra and social venture funds Gray Matters Capital and Acumen Fund.

D.light aims to provide cheap and efficient lighting solutions to families without access to electricity. Earlier in the year, it introduced a series of AC and solar-chargeable LED lighting products for poor families. The products have features such as multiple brightness settings and fast-charging capabilities. Its products are currently sold in Africa and in India.

The company, which wants to increase its manufacturing and distribution capacity in the growing months, aims to eliminate kerosene lamps, which are widely used in Indian villages, by providing solar-based solutions that are cheaper than comparable products, said Sandeep Singhal, a partner at Nexus India Capital.

The same firms provided D.light with seed financing when the company was founded over a year ago.

Nexus India Capital closed its second venture capital fund on $220 million in August earlier this year. The fund is focused on consumer services, business services, technology, clean technology and media and invests up to $10 million per transaction.