#Africa Off Grid Electric raises $25m


Tanzanian off-grid solar energy provider Off Grid Electric has raised a US$25 million funding round, enabling it to expand to a second market, Rwanda.

The US$25 million investment round includes investors DBL Investors, Zouk Capital, Vulcan Capital and SolarCity – which have also previously invested in Off Grid Electric -; while Paris-based impact venture fund Energy Access Ventures (EAV) joined the round, making its inaugural investment, to the tune of US$2 million.

The  funds will be used to continue Off Grid Electric’s goal to provide power to 1 million homes in Tanzania by 2017; but will also allow the startup to launch in its first international operations, in Rwanda.

“OGE has a proven business model that can deliver economic and social benefits across Africa,” Off-Grid Electric’s chief executive officer (CEO) and co-founder, Xavier Helgesen.

“As the only venture and impact fund wholly focused on bringing energy access to the 600 million people in Africa who do not yet have it, I am very excited that we have found such a great company for our first investment,” said Dr. Michael Gera, managing partner of Energy Access Ventures.

“With EAV’s significant presence on the ground, we very much look forward to working with the company to help it achieve significant impact and commercial success.”

In Tanzania, Off Grid Electric claims to have achieved the highest solar adoption rates in the world, with customers able to access a reliable energy source for less than US$0.20 per day.  The startup says their solution provides customers with 50 per cent more light per day than traditional energy sources.

Disrupt Africa reported in December last year Off Grid Electric raised US$16 million in funding led by SolarCity, Zouk Capital, alongside Vulcan Capital.


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