Nigerian energy startup Rensource raises $20m funding round

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Nigerian energy startup Rensource has raised a US$20 million equity funding round to expand its footprint of micro-utilities and invest in additional technology infrastructure, as it rolls out new tech-enabled products and services for its merchants. 

Launched in 2016 by Ademola Adesina and Jussi Savukoski, Rensource is bridging Nigeria’s power deficit through the delivery of renewable-based decentralised energy, focusing primarily on SMEs. 

Operating in seven clusters across six states, the company builds and operates solar hybrid micro-utilities – a type of energy services provider that localises energy generation, distribution, and customer service to each community it serves. The company is active in marketplaces that serve over 30,000 SMEs. 

The US$20 million round was co-led by existing investors CRE Venture Capital and the Omidyar Network, both of which took part in Rensource’s last round, with participation from Inspired Evolution, ProparcoEDPR, I&P, Sin Capital, and Yuzura Honda.

Rensource, which expects to expand into 100 markets in Nigeria over the next three years, is now expanding its offering beyond energy and entering Nigeria’s nascent offline to online (O2O) space by offering technology-enabled value-added services to SMEs in the marketplaces it provides power for. With the launch of this new B2B platform, “Spaces O2O”, merchants will be able to access services that accelerate their productivity growth. 

“We believe that simultaneously greening and decentralizing its power infrastructure is the only way to navigate Nigeria out of its current state of energy poverty. Pursuing this with a focus on the millions of small-businesses that drive our economy creates a massive multiplier effect whose benefit accrues to all,” Adesina said.

“Our push into O2O is a natural step that leverages our existing infrastructure to further empower the merchants we serve. We aim to bring connect over one-million merchants in the next five years.” 

Co-founder and managing partner of CRE Venture Capital Pardon Makumbe said Rensource’s goal is to offer solutions to the many challenges faced by SMEs in Nigeria, starting with power and expanding to other value-added services. 

“It is a bold and worthwhile undertaking that is creating value for all stakeholders. We are excited to continue this journey with the hyper-competent team at the helm,” Makumbe said.

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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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