World Bank Group member International Finance Corporation (IFC) and FMO, the Dutch development bank have entered a partnership to promote the delivery of renewable energy solutions to off-grid communities in East Africa.
IFC has invested EUR 5.42 million in equity and FMO will manage EUR 9.2 million from the AEF and MASSIF Dutch government funds into pay-as-you-go-solar energy service company Mobisol bringing the total investment to EUR 15.62 million and the two entities into partnership with Investec Asset Management’s African Private Equity Fund and DEG which have already invested in Mobisol.
“We are excited by the value such a reputable list of global investors stand to bring to Mobisol. We can now concentrate on scaling and even better serving our customers,” Thomas Gottschalk, Founder and CEO of Mobisol said.
Mobisol has designed a clean, safe and affordable alternative to fossil fuels for low-income African households in the form of modular solar home systems, powerful enough to meet the entire needs of an off-grid household.
They power lighting, radios, stereos, televisions and other household appliances such as fridges as well as small businesses including mobile phone charging service shops, barber shops and village cinemas, generating incremental income.
The Berlin-based company recently launched sales and operations in Kenya, expanding from Tanzania and Rwanda where it has so far electrified more than a quarter of a million people by installing more than 67, 000 solar home systems paid off over three years via mobile money.
This financing will accelerate Mobisol’s growth in its existing markets and entry into other parts of Africa.
Oumar Seydi, IFC Director for East and Southern Africa said, “IFC’s
investment in Mobisol reflects our commitment to bridging the infrastructure gap and to mitigating climate change by delivering reliable, clean and affordable alternatives to fossil fuels for lower income households in Sub-Saharan Africa.”
It builds on IFC’s work to support the development of solar off-grid energy markets through its Lighting Global program of which Mobisol is an associate, receiving IFC advice on how to verify the quality of its products, market them and expand its reach based on sales trends.
IFC also promotes financial inclusion in Africa by encouraging the use the mobile payment technology to allow customers at the bottom of the pyramid to access affordable digital financial services.
“The funds made available through the Access to Energy Fund (AEF) and MASSIF will support sustainable energy solutions and steady access to energy for low-income households, eventually boosting economic development, which fits FMO’s main inspiration to manage these funds on behalf of the Dutch Government”, noted Linda Broekhuizen, Chief Investment Officer, FMO