West African energy startup Easy Solar has raised a US$5 million Series A debt and equity funding round to help it scale operations and launch new products in Sierra Leone and Liberia.
Founded in 2016, Easy Solar is an innovative distribution company making energy and financial services affordable and accessible for those with limited access to power in Sierra Leone and Liberia.
The company has so far provided energy services to more than 450,000 people, and created over 600 clean energy jobs, with a far-reaching distribution network going all the way to the last mile. It offers a wide range of energy solutions from small solar lanterns for lighting and mobile charging, to pico solar home systems with appliances like TVs and fans, all the way up to kW sized systems designed for residential, commercial, and industrial users.
Easy Solar now plans to further scale its activities in the region after raising a US$5 million Series A round, which includes US$3 million in equity from global impact investor Acumen and FMO, the Dutch entrepreneurial development bank, and a US$2 million debt facility from investment platform TRINE.
The funding will enable Easy Solar to scale its reach in Sierra Leone and Liberia, where the vast majority of the population are off-grid, while simultaneously expanding its portfolio of products for existing customers.
“While further expansion in West Africa is on the horizon with this funding, we remain committed to our vision of going deep into the markets we operate in. We will continue to improve the reach of our brand and distribution network in Liberia and Sierra Leone – where we operate the country’s largest direct retail network – and leverage it to offer additional products and services to our customers, directly or through strategic partnerships,” said Alexandre Tourre, chief executive officer (CEO) of Easy Solar.
“We’re also very excited to have brought such experienced and committed investors to the table as we continue with the scaling up of our C&I activities to answer the growing energy needs of offices, farms, factories, schools and hospitals across West Africa, with the same commitment to quality, ease of use and affordability.”
Marieke Roestenberg, FMO venture programme manager, said off-grid energy companies play a critical role in delivering clean, affordable, reliable energy without the need for grid infrastructure.
“Sierra Leone’s low electrification rates combined with limited alternatives for clean energy make Easy Solar’s business model highly relevant. The company has a strong and dedicated founding team, which has managed to grow the company substantially during the past years. FMO’s funding allows the company to continue this expansion, both inside and outside Sierra Leone,” Roestenberg said.