$26m investment for Azuri Technologies will help it extend solar home solutions in Africa
Azuri Technologies, the Milton-based pioneer of solar home solutions for off-grid homes in Africa, has received a $26million equity investment.
The money will help it accelerate its growth plans in East and West Africa and open up new opportunities.
The strategic investment was led by Japanese company Marubeni Corporation, a Fortune Global 500 company. Existing shareholders, including FTSE 250 company IP Group plc, also participated.
Azuri, base in Winship House, provides solar home systems on a pay-as-you-go basis to off-grid consumers living in sub-Saharan Africa. It offers them access to electric lighting, satellite TV and phone charging, enabling them to use the internet.
CEO Simon Bransfield-Garth said: “We are delighted today to announce the equity investment by Marubeni Corporation and existing shareholders.
“The entry of a leading player in the international energy market into this sector demonstrates the increasing maturity of off-grid power and its role in serving the 600 million people in Africa that still lack access to electricity.”
Marubeni has global interests in energy and extensive experience in Africa, and has been investing in solar businesses for more than 20 years.
Yoshiaki Yokota, Maurbeni’s chief operating officer for the power business division, said: “We believe that Azuri’s unique business model will have a profound impact on the growing off-grid energy market in Africa.
“The global energy market is evolving rapidly, with the introduction of new renewable technologies and energy-efficient devices. We are delighted to be a strategic partner of Azuri as a market leader and see their solar home solutions and services as catalysts for change in the Africa energy sector and beyond.”
Jamie Vollbracht, partner at IP Group, added: “As an early investor in Azuri, we are pleased with its growth to date, with over 150,000 systems sold, positively impacting off-grid households in Africa. Today we are delighted to welcome Marubeni to the business to help power the next exciting phase of growth for Azuri.”
Azuri has been providing affordable pay-as-you-go solar solutions in Africa since 2012, helping households to avoid the use of dangerous kerosene lamps and the need for lengthy trips to towns to charge phones. The lighting is known to have a positive impact on small businesses and helps young people study at home. Azuri has offices in Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.
Akira Partners and Taylor Wessing advised Azuri on the deal.
More by this authorPaul Brackley