Acumen Has Cumulatively Invested USD 22 Mn In Africa’s Off-grid Electricity

By  |  April 26, 2019

Going by the results following a recent financial announcement from Acumen, the group, via Acumen Capital Partners has invested a total of USD 22 Mn of patient, philanthropic capital across the off-grid sector of Africa. Having impacted 81 million lives, the solar power establishment is now venturing into for-profit investments, away from its previous philanthropic fundings.

Per a recent announcement from Acumen, its for-profit fund, KawiSafi Ventures, raised some USD 70 Mn to drive energy for millions of low-income earners in the East African region as well as scale the clean energy sector. The follow-up narrative had it that KawiSafi would use the funds to double down on the growth of clean energy companies in East Africa.

KawiSafi, who has Green Climate Fund, Steve Jurvetson, Chris Anderson and the Skoll Foundation as it’s early supporters, aims to deliver clean and affordable energy to 10 million people of the 600 million people currently battling power problems in Africa. The continent spends no less than USD 17 Bn annually on inefficient and crude sources of power. The firm also looks to displace more than 1 million tons of carbon dioxide in the next ten years, in a bid to tackle energy poverty and assist in the aversion of the current climate issues.

Acumen, who is the sponsor of an entrepreneurship initiative from last year, holds an equity interest in the fund. Meanwhile, KawiSafi has cumulatively invested USD 21 Mn into impacting 4.3 million people and averting 360 thousand tons of carbon dioxide emissions. According to the following release, the fund maintains Acumen’s values and impact-focused approach to investing but aims to deliver market-competitive returns by making larger, more significant investments in high-growth companies with proven business models.

KawiSafi has left its footprints in the solar sector of Africa, and one of its prominent impressions came from d.light, a longtime Acumen investee which happens to be one of KawiSafi’s first investments. Producing and distributing a variety of high-quality and inexpensive solar products, the solutions provider, according to a WeeTracker report, raised USD 41 Mn in a Series E funding from Inspire Evolution and three other sub-financiers. D.light, according to reports, is an initiative testament to how KawiSafi can help in the speedup of growth for companies with credible business models.

There has been a cornucopia of solar investments in power-starved Africa, where Persistent joined forces with Verod Capital Management to invest USD 10 Mn in Daystar Power Africa to accelerate power expansion across the region. For the big tickets, it’s Avada’s USD 145 Mn, BBOXX’s USD 31 Mn and AfDB’s USD 25 Mn package for renewable energy in Africa.

“The energy landscape has changed drastically in the last decade, and we have seen proven, profitable businesses emerge that are already transforming how low-income people access electricity,” said KawiSafi’s Managing Director Amar Inamdar. These companies need early-growth capital to scale, so they meet customer demand and drive innovation in a rapidly evolving ecosystem. KawiSafi will fill critical market gaps to create a sustainable, off-grid ecosystem, supporting countries to realize their UN Sustainable Development Goal of universal energy access”.

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