Baobab+, a solar home systems distributor in West Africa, has raised €4 million in financing for the expansion of its activities in Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal.
The amount was raised in two rounds of €2 million each from Shell’s Energy Entrepreneurs Growth Fund (EEGF), managed by Triple Jump, the Facility for Energy Inclusion Off-Grid Energy Access Fund (FEI-OGEF) and LHGP Asset Management.
According to a message to TechCabal, the raise will help Baobab+ to expand its range with new products and promote socio-economic development in rural areas.
Baobab+ is a social enterprise operating in Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Madagascar and currently being deployed in Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Alexandre Coster, founder and CEO of Baobab+, wrote in an email to TechCabal
“In rural areas, only half of the Senegalese population has access to energy and this proportion is under 40% in Côte d’Ivoire.”
Coster says these two rounds of financing will greatly contribute to addressing this situation by allowing the company to expand its distribution network of solar kits in these two countries while targeting micro-entrepreneurs through the distribution of kits.
In Senegal, Baobab+ has distributed about 10,000 solar products since it started operations in 2015, particularly in rural areas where the company uses a Pay As You Go (PAYG) system. It operates in six African countries and has equipped about 220,000 households (1.2 million beneficiaries), giving them access to solar power.
In Côte d’Ivoire, where it has been operating since 2016, over 50,000 products have already been distributed to households and micro-entrepreneurs.
On how open the African market is when it comes to embracing green energy, the International Energy Agency, a Paris-based government think-tank, predicts that 500 million people in Africa will have solar electricity by 2030. Currently, the African markets are in some respects skipping over the fossil fuel age altogether.
Baobab+ is not the only solar company expanding its services to other countries in Africa. Earlier this year, Nigeria’s AllBase Energy announced that it was expanding its solar power distribution system to Angola in the third quarter as part of its expansion plan.