The investment will help Azuri distribute four light solar home systems to Kenyan homes at affordable installments of over 18 months. Virgin Unite provided an up-front match of £75,000 while other investors put in the rest.
Founded in 2012, Azuri is addressing the problem of energy access that affects over 600 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa due to a lack of access to the grid. The firm has sold more than 100,000 systems since 2012 which is approximately reaching 500,000 people with access to solar energy.
Azuri home solar systems operates in 12 countries across Sub-Saharan Africa with offices in the UK, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Nigeria and Ghana. The Cambridge-based firm generated £1.9 million in revenues in 2016.
The £300,000 investment bond matures in 24 months and the investors will earn an expected interest rate of 5% per annum. Azuri’s PayGo service model enables customers to pay back the cost of the system over time (typically 18 months) after which they fully own the system and can continue to use it for free. The Quad system includes a 10W solar panel, a rechargeable battery, 4 powerful LED lights, a rechargeable torch and radio, and a USB port to recharge a mobile phone.
The £300,000 will help the firm to manufacture and distribute at least 3,000 Quad systems together with their local distribution partners across Kenya, where approximately 4 million households do not have access to mains electricity.
The bond was raised via Energise Africa – an initiative that provides working capital to businesses that sell solar home systems in sub-Saharan Africa. The aim is to provide more than 111,000 rural families access to clean and renewable energy over the next three years. Energise Africa is a platform run by Lendahand Ethex Ltd, made up of two online impact investing platforms,UK’s Ethex and Dutch’s Lendahand which joined forces to provide UK based retail investors with investment opportunities which will significantly improve off grid energy access for families in Sub Saharan Africa.