A Uganda-based solar energy company, SolarNow, has raised $9 million funding arranged by SunFunder, a long term debt to scale up its services in the country.
The funding comes three months after SolarNow raised a $740,000 grant from the MasterCard Foundation Fund for Rural Prosperity. The amount puts the company among the top five most funded in Uganda last year.
According to a statement from SunFunder, SolarNow will use the money to scale its services across Uganda. “The financing will enable the company to deploy 17,500 new off-grid solar systems to customers in Uganda,” SunFunder said in a statement.
The funds, if utilized effectively, will see an estimated 70,000 women get access to improved energy thus saving the country’s environment where majority of the population depends on biomass as source of fuel which has resulted into the emission of huge amounts of greenhouse gas emissions.
Solar Energy Transformation Fund
Last year, SunFunder raised $25 million from Overseas Private Investment Corporation – OPIC. This was part of the commitment to its $100 million Solar Energy Transformation Fund. It also announced that it had secured an undisclosed amount from the Shell Foundation towards the same fund.
With only the $25 million they disclosed considered, SunFunder raised the 9th highest amount for a fund focused on Africa last year according to our Digest Africa INDEX report. It is thus likely that they made the investment into SolarNow from this particular fund.
This facility is SolarNow’s 3rd structured asset finance instrument (SAFI) that SunFunder has arranged. It is also the 3rd syndication that the solar-focused lender has done together with responsAbility and Oikocredit, as well as the 2nd such syndication for SolarNow, following a similar $6 million facility 14 months ago.
The new investment marks the 5th-anniversary SunFunder’s partnership with SolarNow as well as a total of $19 million that the former has delivered for SolarNow. The investments have been through direct and syndicated lending.
Founded in 2011 by Willem Nolens, SolarNow has now raised at least $30 million in funding – across different deal types – according to data from Digest Africa.