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Kenya’s SunCulture raises $27.5 million to scale up its solar irrigation solutions across Africa

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Currently, many farmers in Africa rely on rainfed agriculture or carbon-emitting diesel or petrol pumps for irrigation. Kenya’s SunCulture has raised $27.5 million to scale up its solar irrigation solutions throughout sub-Saharan Africa and provide access to Internet-of-Things (IoT)-enabled solar-powered irrigation systems to hundreds of thousands of smallholder farmers by the year 2030.

InfraCo Africa, an investment company of the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) released the $12 million financing package on 2 April 2024 as part of the Series B fundraising effort totaling $27.5 million.

According to SunCulture CEO, Samir Ibrahim, “This partnership represents a significant milestone for SunCulture, reflecting a strong vote of confidence in our vision, team, and potential. We are excited to collaborate with our investors as we work towards our shared goals.”

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SunCulture offers farmers a sustainable alternative for managing climate-induced rainfall variability while eliminating the need for expensive and polluting fuel-based pumps. The company’s innovative approach encompasses the design, production, financing, installation, and maintenance of comprehensive solar irrigation systems featuring safe, low-voltage DC pumps. These systems, capable of pumping up to 1,200 liters of water per hour, are tailored for smallholdings spanning approximately 1-3 acres.

SunCulture operates on a “Pay-As-You-Grow” model, offering pumps to smallholder farmers at a 40-60% lower total cost of ownership compared to fuel-based pumps, depending on payment plans. Furthermore, SunCulture has registered as the first African solar water pump provider for a carbon credit program, verified by VERRA, further reducing upfront costs for farmers.

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Equipped with solar PV systems, including sprinklers, drip irrigation, and battery storage, they optimize water usage efficiency by enabling early morning irrigation to minimize evaporation and targeted watering to individual plants to prevent wastage. Additionally, IoT-enabled functionalities provide remote monitoring and predictive maintenance, while battery systems offer domestic lighting and charging capabilities for small devices such as mobile phones.

InfraCo was joined by Savant Group Ltd’s other Series B investors to finalize the fundraising for SunCulture. REED Hastings, the co-founder of Netflix and Eric Schmidt, the former chief executive of Alphabet also participated in the round.

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Updated: We had earlier reported that Sunculture raised $12 million. We were wrong as that was the amount InfraCo Africa contributed to the Series B round. The firm raised a total of $27.5 million from the round. We apologize for missing that detail.

Editor, TechMoran.com

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James Musoba
James Musoba
Studying Africa's startup and technology scene. I always look forward to discovering new exciting inventions and vibrant entrepreneurs.

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