Okapi Technologies, a Malaysia-based climate fintech startup in the solar financing space, announced Monday the successful closure of its funding round and official launch in Malaysia, starting with the residential solar sector.

The round was led by The Radical Fund with participation from multiple strategic angel investors, including Lai Chang Wen and Shaun Chong, Co-Founders of regional logistics unicorn Ninja Van, Okapi Technologies said in a statement.

“Malaysia’s vibrant renewable energy ecosystem, stable regulatory frameworks, and forward-thinking government policies made it an easy decision for us to launch here as our first market in Southeast Asia,” said Zhern Yung, who spent seven years at Ninja Van, where he was last the Vice President of Corporate Development & Treasury running fundraising and strategic M&A initiatives.

“With this raise, we will continue developing innovative solutions to democratize access to affordable solar energy for all homeowners, while creating a new asset class underpinned by green, responsible, and secure income streams for environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investors globally,” he adds.

Okapi Technologies was founded by Lai Zhern Yung and Christopher Kwong, both Malaysians and former bankers and engineers.

Addressing the financing gap, the firm’s proprietary platform connects clean energy investors with solar dealers, installers and engineering, procurement and constructions (EPCs) nationwide via a comprehensive embedded financing and project management solution.

With its instant credit decisioning engine, The firm empowers solar stakeholders to offer cash flow positive
leasing plans of up to ten years to homeowners at the point-of-sale, accelerating sales cycles and increasing conversion rates.

This mechanism eliminates all logistical and psychological barriers for households to access lower utility costs, thereby significantly reducing their greenhouse gas emissions and carbon footprint, while contributing to
Malaysia’s Net Zero goal.

Okapi Technologies also offers financiers a unique entry into Southeast’s energy transition by creating an emerging and safe asset class capable of offering long-term stable returns.

Since its inception 18 months ago, the company has maintained a 0 percent late payment and default rate, demonstrating the robustness of its business and lending model.

With over 300 leads per month from solar partners and direct inquiries, the firm said it is poised to scale its model effectively.

At present, the rooftop solar industry in Malaysia is booming, driven by supportive government policies such as the SolaRIS rebate introduced in April 2024 of up to MYR 4,000 ($849) per household to install solar energy systems on their rooftops.

However, high upfront costs remain a significant barrier to adoption for middle income households.

Industry insiders including those from Tenaga Nasional Berhad, Malaysia’s national utilities company, have attributed high upfront pricing as the main obstacle to greater adoption of rooftop solar among homeowners.

Also, there is a lack of appropriate financing options for such a long duration productive asset in the region.

Besides, Malaysia’s National Energy Transition Roadmap (NETR) has estimated that up to MYR 1.85 trillion ($392 billion) of financing is required to meet energy transition targets by 2050.

“We are proud to be supporting Okapi Technologies transforming solar financing in Southeast Asia, making solar energy affordable and accessible to all,” said Alina Truhina, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Partner of The Radical Fund.

“By sourcing competitive capital and investing in quality solar assets, Okapi Technologies removes barriers to residential solar adoption,

“Each installation generates 800-1,000 kWh monthly, accelerating the region’s renewable energy transition, cutting GHG emissions, and empowering Southeast Asia’s middle-income households to reduce utility costs and secure energy price stability,” she added.

Since its launch, Okapi Technologies has established commercial partnerships with dozens of solar companies in the country and are targeting to fund the installation of 100 residential solar energy systems per month by the first quarter of 2025.

Malaysia’s HOMA2u raises capital from Asia Fund X for regional expansion