Kenyan solar startup SunCulture secures EDF funding

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Kenyan startup SunCulture, which develops solar-powered water pumps and irrigation solutions for smallholder farmers, has closed an investment round with the EDF Group.

SunCulture makes smallholder farming households more productive in an affordable and environmentally friendly way by selling them affordable solar-powered water pumps and customised irrigation systems bundled with ongoing support and financing.

It has now secured funding from EDF, one of the world’s largest electric utility companies and a global leader in low-carbon energy, which joins SunCulture’s existing institutional investors – Energy Access Ventures and Partners Group.

SunCulture is opening up the East African market for EDF to expand the impact of its off-grid solutions across the continent, while EDF will share its experience selling and installing off-grid solutions designed for residential customers and its knowledge of Central and West African markets with SunCulture.

EDF will also assist in setting up financing vehicles designed to help farmers afford these solar irrigation solutions under SunCulture’s “pay-as-you-grow” platform.

“EDFs commitment to partnering with local companies to create lasting impact represents an important shift in the way multinationals are doing business in Africa. We’re excited about this partnership, which gives us the opportunity to work with EDF to increase rural household productivity across the continent,” said Samir Ibrahim, SunCulture’s chief executive officer (CEO) and co-founder.

“We are proud to invest in a technology company that brings to African smallholder farmers genuinely innovative solutions transforming their lives and fostering economic development in African countries. This partnership enables EDF to enter a new and very promising business line of Off-Grid offerings. Our ambition is to become SunCulture’s partner of reference in their expansion beyond Kenya, especially in countries where EDF already has a strong footprint,” said Marianne Laigneau, senior executive vice president in charge of the International Division at EDF.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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