Rensource Energy, a Nigerian distributed energy provider has raised a $20 million Series A round co-led by CRE Venture Capital and the Omidyar network with participation from Inspired Evolution, Proparco, EDPR, I&P, Sin Capital, and Yuzura Honda.
Rensource Energy will use the funds to build an online platform for supply-chain services, business-analytics and working capital options for Nigeria’s SME.
Founded in 2015, Rensource provides tiered, subscription-based energy services freeing households and businesses from unreliable public energy providers and toxic diesel generators. Rensource has been positioning itself in the Power-as-a-Service renewable energy market in West Africa.
The $20 million round will help it unveil its B2B product to allow businesses in Nigeria move into energy independence. Rensource will finance installation of the systems and create billing tools and data for its merchants in Nigeria.
Rensource develops and manages critical infrastructure that powers the productivity of small and medium sized enterprises. Using the provision of solar-based microutilities an entry point, Rensource provides tools and services to support the digitalization and productivity growth of SMEs in West Africa.
Last year Rensource Energy raised €500,000 to contribute to solving Nigeria’s problem with electricity by helping small and medium-sized enterprises to replace the heavy usage of fossil fuel-powered generators with solar systems.
The loan from investors on Trine was to provide at least 4,000 shops in Nigeria access to electricity. Earlier, Rensource Energy raised $3.5 million in bridge financing to expand across Nigeria.
The round was led by Mauritius Amaya Capital Partners with participation from Omidyar Network and South Africa’s CRE Venture Capital. The firm previously raised a $1.1 million led by CRE Venture Capital and Sissili Limited and was also part of the XL-Africa acceleration program.
In total, the firm has raised $25.5 million in external equity since 2016 from shareholders, such as Bamboo Capital and Amaya Capital who both have made significant investments in the renewable energy sector.
The power-as-a-service subscription based energy service uses solar-hybrid systems that gets installed at the customer, generating and storing electricity.”
The firm works as power as a service on a subscription model where the customer pays a monthly fee and Rensource provides equipment, power and maintenance.
Rensource has been targeting the commercial market which will connect 6,000 shop owners to clean energy. It also sells large solar systems ranging from 1kWp which can support lighting, fans, a stereo, a TV and a fridge to the 3kW which can also support a microwave, a freezer and a water pump with greater storage. All products have a 25-year warranty. Payments are received through bank transfers or direct debits on a daily, weekly, monthly or annual basis.
Small- and medium sized enterprises which are one of Rensource target customers pay on average $4,000 per month using a petrol or diesel generator whereas they pay an average of $900 using the solar system from Rensource. This means a cost saving of over 70%.
With a population of almost 200 million people around a third of all Nigerians own a generator due to not having access to affordable and reliable electricity. The usage of generators cause several problems for the population. The petrol and diesel fueled generators are major sources for pollution. World Health Organisation estimate that 94% of the population are exposed to pollution levels that exceed the organisation’s guidelines.