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UK crowdfunders raise R20m to fund African solar projects

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Solarise Africa's Oserian solar project in Kenya.
Solarise Africa's Oserian solar project in Kenya.

In a partnership between Energise Africa and Solarise Africa, crowdfunders in the UK have raised over £1 million (R20 million) in just days to fund eight large-scale solar energy projects in sub-Saharan Africa.

“We are humbled by the support we’ve received from the Energise Africa investor community,” says Jan Albert Valk, CEO and co-founder of Solarise Africa.

“In our second funding round, we raised £550,000 practically overnight, something that would have taken weeks, if not months, if we followed traditional avenues. Access to working capital finance in the region is hindered by high collateralisation and interest rates.

“Energy Africa's innovative model offers an attractive alternative to traditional financing models, which benefits investors as well as lenders. With a targeted 6.75% interest on debt raised so far, our partnership with Energise Africa has provided crowdfunders with a potentially attractive investment opportunity.”

Solarise Africa, a pan-African energy-as-a-service company with roughly 10MW of operational solar plants across sub-Saharan Africa, has raised a total of £1 050 000 to date.

According to the company, the funds will enable it to install and lease approximately 1.35MWp of solar panels and 156kWp of batteries to eight commercial and industrial customers in sub-Saharan Africa.

The company notes that additional debt raises will follow in the new year.

“The increase in social and climate awareness in the UK this year has led to investors seeking projects that support a bigger purpose rather than just looking for financial gains,” says Lisa Ashford, CEO of Energise Africa.

“We’re proud that the investment opportunities offered through our platform, like these recent raises for Solarise Africa allows individuals to invest to create a positive impact while targeting a financial return. We look forward to working with Solarise to offer investors more opportunities in 2022.”

Energise Africa, founded by leading crowdfunding platforms Ethex and Lendahand in 2017, is a UK impact investing platform with a vision to put life-changing clean electricity with the reach of millions of people in sub-Saharan Africa and beyond through people-powered finance.

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