East Africa has quickly become the hotbed for a booming off-grid solar market. A number of companies have been putting innovation first to provide reliable energy to off-grid communities, which has seen them rewarded with substantial investment. Mobisol is the most recent such company to reap the rewards of its noble, but also profitable, business model, with EUR 14.6 million in fresh investment.
The largest chunk of the new investment came from AEF and MASSIF Dutch government funds via FMO, who combined have put in EUR 9.2 million. Additionally, the IFC has made an equity investment of EUR 5.42 million in the company.
These reputable investors join Investec Asset Management’s African Private Equity Fund and DEG, who have also made significant investments into the company. The fresh funds will be used by Mobisol to expand its operations in Rwanda and Tanzania, and to continue its expansion into Kenya.
“Our partnership with IFC and FMO, alongside Investec Asset Management marks an important milestone in the growth history of Mobisol,” commented Mobisol Founder and CEO Thomas Gottschalk. “We are excited by the value such a reputable list of global investors stand to bring to Mobisol. We can now concentrate on scaling and even better serving our customers.”
Berlin-based Mobisol delivers off-grid solar solutions, which are powerful enough to meet the entire energy needs of an off-grid household. The systems have the option to include various appliances, such as lights, TVs, and even things like hair clippers and phone chargers, so that customers can use the systems as a source of income.
The company has reached a number of landmarks over the last couple of years, and now provides electricity to over 330,000 consumers in East Africa. Its systems offer affordable and reliable energy to communities that might have previously relied on kerosene or not have a reliable source of energy at all.
Off-grid solar solutions have really begun to take off in Sub-Saharan Africa, where approximately 600 million people lack access to electricity, and particularly in East Africa. In fact, an incredible 50% of the total global investment made in off-grid solar in 2015 was in the eastern Africa region.
Mobisol specifically has been able to continue to attract investment in 2016, which can be put down, in large part, to the innovative business model that it has pursued in the region. It will now be interesting to see what the total investment figures for off-grid solar in East Africa will be by the end of this year.