African energy company, Azuri Technologies, has closed a $26 million investment from Japanese conglomerate, Marubeni. This new round of funding will help the company grow its business in East and West Africa.
Existing shareholders like IP Group Plc also participated in this round which marks the 5th round of funding raised by the startup. This brings its total funds raised to $53.5M.
Founded in 2012, Azuri Technologies provides solar home systems to rural off-grid communities in sub-Saharan Africa. The company has the widest reach of any provider in sub-Saharan Africa, with operations in Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. It offers efficient solar energy solutions on a pay-as-you-go basis.
Since its launch, the company has sold over 150,000 systems to customers in the region who find themselves off the power grid.
Now with this new funding, the company intends to expand throughout East and West Africa, rolling out its lighting, TV and other solar products in these new markets. This way, it will be providing its energy services to more off-grid communities throughout the continent.
“We are delighted today to announce the equity investment by Marubeni Corporation and existing shareholders. The entry of a leading player in the international energy market into this sector demonstrates the increasing maturity of off-grid power and its role in serving the 600 million people in Africa that still lack access to electricity.”Simon Bransfield-Garth, CEO, Azuri Technologies.
On its own part, Marubeni Corporation believes that Azuri’s pay-as-you-go business model will have a profound impact on the growing off-grid energy market in Africa.
With 20 years of experience in investing in solar energy businesses, the company has continued to make investments in companies in the US and Africa.
This latest deal also stresses a trend for big energy companies racing to invest in off-grid energy with such models. In 2016, Dutch pay-as-you-go solar provider Lumos, raised $90 million from OPIC to roll out such systems in Nigeria. Recently, home solar provider BBOXX, raised funding from French energy giant, EDF.
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