, a leading solar distributor in West Africa, has raised $8.5 million in series B funding led by independent renewable energy developer RP Global.
Oolu was founded by Nilmi Senaratna and Daniel Rosa, who were inspired after living and working in a rural region in Senegal.
Since its inception, the company has sold over 60,000 solar home systems to customers in the region. In addition to a large distribution and service network, Oolu employs over 250 full-time employees and is run by a Dakar-based management team of whom 50% are women.
Oolu’s last funding was in July 2018, where GAIA Impact Fund, a Francophone-focused venture fund, invested an undisclosed amount. This was just 9 months after Oolu raised $3.2 million in Series A funding.
With this new investment, Oolu wants to expand its core product offerings and further develop its operations in West Africa.
DFC Approves Over $2.1 Billion in New Investments for Global Development
The U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) has approved investments of over $2.1 billion to advance development in emerging markets around the world.
Here are a few investments relating to Africa:
Supporting development of data centers across Africa
: $300 million will support Africa Data Centres’ acquisition and expansion of existing data center assets in South Africa and Kenya.
Strengthening telecommunications in East Africa
: An up to $500 million loan to the Vodafone-led Global Partnership for Ethiopia that will finance the design, development, and operation of a new private mobile network provider and the acquisition of a mobile network provider license.
Expanding access to financing for SMEs in Liberia
: A $20 million loan to International Bank of Liberia Limited will provide a credit line for longer-term SME lending in Liberia, offering needed support in a challenging market.
Advancing loan opportunities for entrepreneurs in South Africa
: A $150 million loan to SA Taxi Impact Fund (RF) Proprietary Limited will help expand the company’s lending portfolio to entrepreneurs operating minibuses.
Read the full list here