West Africa’s solar company, Easy Solar announced the closing of a $5 million round of funding including a $3 million Series A Equity round led by global impact investor Acumen and FMO, the Dutch entrepreneurial development bank.
This is an addition to a $2 million debt facility from investment platform Trine, the solar company stated.
“Off-grid energy companies play a critical role in delivering clean, affordable, reliable energy without the need for grid infrastructure. Sierra Leone’s low electrification rates combined with limited alternatives for clean energy make Easy Solar’s business model highly relevant, said Marieke Roestenberg, FMO venture program manager.
Roestenberg added: “The company has a strong and dedicated founding team, which has managed to grow the company substantially during the past years. FMO’s funding allows the company to continue this expansion, both inside and outside Sierra Leone.”
Easy Solar is an innovative distribution company making energy and financial services affordable and accessible for those with limited access to power in Sierra Leone and Liberia.
Sierra Leone and Liberia are both low-income countries, with rates of electrification below 20%. The funding will enable the solar power distributor to scale its reach in these markets, where the vast majority of the population are off-grid, while simultaneously expanding its portfolio of products for existing customers.
“Acumen is thrilled to support Easy Solar’s growth in markets that are too often overlooked. Despite low mobile-money penetration and a high concentration of low-income customers, Easy Solar has made pay-as-you-go solar accessible to Sierra Leoneans and now Liberians,” says Meghan Curran, West Africa Director for Acumen.
Founded in 2016, Easy Solar has brought transformative energy services to more than 450,000 people, and created over 600 clean energy jobs, with a far-reaching distribution network going all the way to the last mile.
The company offers a wide range of energy solutions from small solar lanterns for lighting and mobile charging, to pico solar home systems with appliances like TVs and fans, all the way up to kW sized systems designed for residential, commercial, and industrial users. Because of its extensive distribution network and volume of prior credit data, Easy Solar’s offering now goes beyond its core solar range, with complementary products including clean cooking devices and pay-as-you-go smartphones.
Alexandre Tourre, CEO of Easy Solar said: “While further expansion in West Africa is on the horizon with this funding, we remain committed to our vision of going deep into the markets we operate in. We will continue to improve the reach of our brand and distribution network in Liberia and Sierra Leone — where we operate the country’s largest direct retail network — and leverage it to offer additional products and services to our customers, directly or through strategic partnerships.
“We’re also very excited to have brought such experienced and committed investors to the table as we continue with the scaling up of our C&I activities to answer the growing energy needs of offices, farms, factories, schools, hospitals, etc. across West Africa, with the same commitment to quality, ease of use and affordability.”