Easy Solar, a leading last-mile energy access and distribution company in West Africa, is pleased to announce it has raised USD 7 million in debt and equity from Acumen, Cygnum Capital and Triodos Investment Management.
Easy Solar operates in some of the continent’s hardest to reach markets, with a vision of making sustainable energy solutions and life improving products affordable and accessible to its customers, both households and businesses. Despite a difficult context of rising fuel and food prices, compounded by the persistent currency depreciation, the company was able to partner with investors to continue building on its core strengths and expertise, having recently reached a milestone of connecting over a million lives across the region to energy and beyond.
Alexandre Tourre, the CEO of Easy Solar, explained what this means for the group: “We’re absolutely thrilled to have secured an investment from Triodos Investment Management. They bring a deep expertise in C&I solar, which is a critical growth area for Easy Solar in the current context of rapidly increasing energy prices in the region. Cygnum Capital and Acumen are historical investors who have supported our vision for many years by making impactful finance available where it is most needed and we’re delighted to expand our work with them. Together, we are at the forefront of building a clean energy future for West Africa.”
In partnership with TCX, Cygnum Capital’s facility will expand Easy Solar’s access to local currency financing in Sierra Leone, while Acumen will support the company with an innovative affordable inventory financing instrument tailor designed for hard to reach markets. On the Equity side, Triodos Investment Management will support the growth of Easy Solar’s burgeoning solar C&I business in the region, as well the company’s regional expansion plans.
Jiwoo Choi, Chief of Strategic Initiatives at Acumen, commented on the work done with Easy Solar: “Over the past six years, we have built a strong partnership with Easy Solar and have been inspired by their dedication to bringing transformative energy access to underserved and hard-to-reach communities through a solid business model. We are thrilled to extend our relationship through this deal, which is set to amplify the company’s impact in Sierra Leone.”
“This is our first exposure to so-called small-home-solutions and small-scale commercial and industrial solutions”, explains Marius Groenenberg, Principal Investment Manager at Triodos Investment Management. “Both are growing and important segments for energy in Africa, especially in the frontier markets where Easy Solar is active. Off-grid solar solutions have proven to be more than just a way to provide clean, affordable, and reliable electricity to underserved communities. Through the wide range of energy solutions offered by Easy Solar, customers are given the chance to boost their economic development thanks to the accelerated development of productive activity in these communities in a vast untapped market.”
About Easy Solar
Easy Solar, a leading last-mile energy access and distribution company in West Africa, building a widely recognized brand and a rapidly growing C&I business. Via its 300+ points of sales and deep network of agents, Easy Solar is uniquely positioned to reach the last mile clients, as well as provide clean energy solutions to households, hospitals, education centers and businesses. The company has powered over a million lives in Sierra Leone and Liberia since 2016.
About Triodos Investment Management
Triodos Investment Management connects a broad range of investors who want to make their money work for lasting, positive change with innovative entrepreneurs and sustainable businesses doing just that. In doing so, we serve as a catalyst in sectors that are key in the transition to a world that is fairer, more sustainable and humane.
We have built up in-depth knowledge throughout our 25 years of impact investing in sectors such as Energy & Climate, Inclusive Finance and Sustainable Food & Agriculture. We also invest in listed companies that materially contribute to the transition toward a sustainable society. Assets under management as per end of June 2023: EUR 5.7 billion.
Triodos Investment Management is a globally active impact investor and a wholly owned subsidiary of Triodos Bank NV.
Acumen is changing the way the world tackles poverty by investing in companies, leaders and ideas. We invest Patient Capital in businesses whose products and services are enabling the poor to transform their lives. Founded by Jacqueline Novogratz in 2001, Acumen has invested more than $154 million in 167 companies across Africa, Latin America, South Asia and the United States. We are also developing a global community of emerging leaders with the knowledge, skills and determination to create a more inclusive world. In 2015, Acumen was named one of Fast Company’s Top 10 Most Innovative Not-for-Profit Companies. Learn more at www.acumen.org and on Twitter @Acumen.
About Cygnum Capital (Formerly Lion’s Head)
Cygnum Capital Group is an investment bank and asset manager operating across frontier and emerging markets. Formerly known as Lion’s Head, which was founded in 2008, Cygnum Capital is now a global provider of tailored and innovative financial solutions to meet its clients’ diverse needs.
Cygnum Capital uses long-term relationships, networks and local market understanding to deliver a best-in-class service. With offices in London, Nairobi, Lagos, Dubai, and Amsterdam, Cygnum Capital’s dynamic team of 70 finance professionals provide deep sectoral expertise, a broad product offering, an asset management platform and the ability to leverage synergies between our corporate finance, asset management and advisory activities.
Cygnum Capital Asset Management manages five pioneering funds: four debt funds including: (i) the African Local Currency Bond Fund (“ALCBF”), a ground-breaking investment vehicle established to support local currency capital markets, (ii) Off-Grid Energy Access Fund (“OGEF”) which supports companies in off grid energy such as SHS and small- medium mini-grids, (iii) Facility for Energy Inclusion (“FEI”) which support companies that provide a range of renewable energy solutions such as medium — large mini- grids, C&I and IPP with a maximum capacity of 25 MW, (iv) AfricaGoGreen (“AGG”) Fund which supports companies combating climate change by reducing the use of fossil fuels through new technologies and that increase energy efficiency; and a VC private equity fund (v) E3 Low Carbon Economy Fund for Africa (“E3 LCEF”) which invests in climate-smart services, digital connectivity & Applications, low-carbon productivity enablers. Cygnum Capital Asset Management has over USD 750 million of assets under management with investments in more than 34 African countries.