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It all began back in 2010, following the horrible earthquake in Haiti, when industrial designer Rikard Zetterlund heard from acquaintances who had been on the ground during the rescue efforts that efforts ceased at night due to the darkness — and that more lives could possibly have been saved if lighting had been available. This insight was the catalyst to Baselight’s development.

“Baselight is a mobile lighting solution developed for rescue efforts. Compared with older products designed for the same purposes, Baselight offers better brightness, lower energy consumption and is fully integrated. In addition, it only weighs 35 kg, while competing products can weigh up to one ton,” says Andrej Dahllöf, who together with Rikard Zetterlund runs Prime Design Sweden, the company behind Baselight.

95% for export

Although Baselight was developed for rescue efforts, its unique properties make the product attractive for other areas that require mobile lighting for working in the dark. One example is the construction industry; others include the military and event industries. Since its start in 2013, Prime Design has doubled its sales each year, and last year, its sales totalled SEK 8 million, which is expected to rise to SEK 30 million in 2018. A full 95% of sales are exported.

“Asia is our most important market and we have grown vigorously in countries including Indonesia, Malaysia, China and Taiwan of late. We have just signed a major deal in India with the help of EKN and Almi, which was a great relief as large sums were at risk and a lot can happen when conducting business on the other side of the world,” says Andrej Dahllöf.

Under the agreement, the Indian government, through an intermediary, will purchase a large quantity of Baselights for onward distribution to regional storage facilities, since India is often hit by natural disasters. This is one of the first transactions to be conducted with the support of EKN’s and Almi’s new joint financing solution, whereby EKN guarantees up to 75% of the risk and while Almi uses this guarantee as security for the loan.

“This means the offers from EKN and Almi fit together seamlessly. Risk and financing are two major challenges for exporting companies. EKN’s guarantee lowers our risk in this transaction and gives us the possibility to grant credit to our partner in India, which was a precondition for finalizing the deal. In turn, financing from Almi helps us to meet all of the investments required by such a large order,” says Andrej Dahllöf.

Fast response to Kerala

The first Baselight units have already been sent to the Indian state of Kerala, which was hit by flooding from the monsoon rains. Being able to travel between Stockholm and New Delhi in less than three days speaks volumes for Baselight’s mobility. Going forward, the plan is for Baselight to cover even larger parts of the world.

“We want to be recognised in the global market as the Swedish company with smart lighting products. The tangible goals are sales of SEK 100 million and 50 employees within two years. The Indian deal was extremely important for our growth, and the support from EKN and Almi means we can accelerate our expansion, so we are currently recruiting flat out,” says Andrej Dahllöf.

Photo: Prime Design