Greenlight Planet Raises $60 Million Round

London-based private equity fund manager Apis Partners and other investors announced disbursement of $60 million in new funding to Greenlight Planet Inc., a provider of off-grid solar products and solar financing for underserved populations around the world. Greenlight Planet, a growth-stage company with a mandate to deliver social as well as financial returns, disclosed that it has been profitable in each of the last 10 financial quarters. Greenlight’s line of Sun King solar-powered products includes lighting, home energy systems, phone chargers, radios, fans and soon-to-be-released televisions. Greenlight Planet will use the new debt and equity capital to expand its solar-energy product lines, distribution networks and financing capabilities in Africa and Asia. Anish Thakkar, co-founder of Greenlight Planet, said, “We look forward to drawing upon the expertise of Apis Partners to consolidate our market-leading position, building on our mission to connect off-grid, unbanked populations to power and to financing. This is a first step toward solutions for an expanded range of life necessities, from cookstoves to fans, TVs and more.”

John Deere Foundation Receives Award for India Work

The John Deere Foundation has received an award for its work in supporting agriculture, education and infrastructure in rural India. The foundation received the Citizens Award for Best Community Improvement Program from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Corporate Citizenship Center, according to reports. Deere was selected for the award for its role in developing the Joint Initiative for Village Advancement in a partnership with PYXERA Global. The initiative has focused on improving the lives of an estimated 6,000 people in Rajasthan by working with residents to develop better practices in agriculture, education and infrastructure, according to a news release. “JIVA was co-designed with the communities in Rajasthan to ensure long-term success and sustainability," foundation president Mara Downing said in a statement. “JIVA’s approach to economic empowerment is guided by the belief that farmers are among the world’s most gifted entrepreneurs, capable of making the best decisions for their families, their communities and themselves."

HealthiPASS Decures $7.2M Series A Funding

HealthiPASS, a patient check-in and payment technology provider for patients and providers, announced it has raised a $7.2 million Series A funding round, led by FCA Venture Partners. As high deductible health plans become more and more prevalent and patient out of pocket burden continues to increase, HealthiPASS simplifies the payments experience for both patients and providers, the company said. The HealthiPASS platform processes the patient’s payment information, providing a cost-of-care estimate and incorporating insurance benefit plan details to make healthcare visits a fast, easy and transparent experience. “Far too many people are unclear on how much a visit to the doctor will cost them, and navigating what’s covered by insurance and what is the patient’s responsibility can be frustrating and confusing,” said HealthiPASS’ Indian American CEO Rajesh Voddiraju. “With HealthiPASS, we offer our providers a strategic advantage in the market. We’re empowering them to give patients greater clarity and transparency into their financial responsibilities and enhancing the patient payment experience, which results in higher patient satisfaction and loyalty.” The HealthiPASS platform enables healthcare providers to achieve net collection rates of up to 96 percent, which is 45 percent greater than the industry standard, according to HealthiPASS.

Airbus Foundation Launches Program to Inspire Youth

The Airbus Foundation together with its partner The Little Engineer has launched the Airbus Little Engineer robotics program in India. The initiative by Airbus Foundation aims to encourage students between 10 and 16 years to understand technology and develop interest for exciting careers in the STEM fields, Airbus said. As a part of the program, a two-day workshop was conducted with 60 students from Christel House Learning Center at Bangalore. The students were tasked with assembling an aircraft model and programming it with their own algorithm for maneuvering it on the tarmac and subsequent take-off. “As India endeavors to make a mark for itself in the global aerospace manufacturing, the Airbus Little Engineer program is driven to inspire young Indian minds to explore the exciting world of high end innovation and technology,” said Pierre de Bausset, president and managing director of Airbus India. The goal of the program, launched in 2012, is to support the countries’ efforts in creating a sustainable pipeline of talent for India.

Eros International Closes $100M Financing

Eros International Plc, a global company in the Indian film entertainment industry, announced the closing of the company’s registered direct offering of $122.5 million aggregate principal amount of its senior convertible notes due 2020 and warrants to purchase 2,000,000 of the company’s A ordinary shares, for gross proceeds of $100 million. The notes are a three-year amortizing instrument with an initial conversion price of $14.6875. The company has the flexibility to satisfy the amortization payments in cash or shares, subject to certain restrictions. “We are very pleased to announce the completion of our financing,” said Prem Parameswaran, president of North America and group CFO of Eros. “The $100 million of gross proceeds will help to significantly improve our balance sheet, support the continued growth of our Eros Now platform and leave us well capitalized for the future.” The company intends to use the net proceeds to repay amounts outstanding under its revolving credit facility and for general corporate purposes.

CloudNOW Partners With Intel, Apcera, CB Technologies

CloudNOW, an executive consortium for the leading women in cloud and converging technologies, announced the launch of its first STEM Scholarship Fund for female students pursuing university-level technical degrees at the Shanti Bhavan school in India. The fund is made possible by grants from corporate partners Intel, Apcera and CB Technologies, and is intended to help the next generation of leaders overcome socioeconomic inequality and raise their communities out of poverty. Three women from the Shanti Bhavan program currently studying at Christ University in Bangalore will be awarded full scholarships covering tuition and living expenses for a year. The students will be selected by Shanti Bhavan based on merit, leadership potential and need. “We are thrilled to receive the support of these world-class organizations and hope it will attract the support of others,” said Ajit George, director of operations at Shanti Bhavan. “This new scholarship fund will allow us to further the important work we’re doing, empowering more and more children to break the cycle of generational poverty through education, leadership and compassion.”

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