UK Crowdfunders Raise £1 Million to Fund Solar Projects in Africa


UK crowdfunders Energise Africa and Solarise Africa rush to support the solar energy sector in Africa through a new venture between the companies. In a partnership, the crowdfunders have raised £1 million in just a few days to provide funding for eight large-scale solar energy projects in sub-Saharan Africa.

Jan Albert Valk, CEO and co-founder of Solarise Africa, said, “We are humbled by the support we’ve received from the Energise Africa investor community.” In the second funding round, the companies have raised £0.55 million practically overnight. Access to working capital finance in sub-Saharan Africa is hindered by high collateralization and interest rates.

Valk added that the innovative model of ‘Energy Africa’ offers a fine alternative to traditional financing models, which benefits both the lenders as well as investors. Solarise Africa’s partnership with Energise Africa has provided crowdfunders with a potentially attractive investment opportunity, with a targeted 6.75% interest on debt raised so far.

Solarise Africa is a pan-African energy-as-a-service company with a profile of nearly 10MW of installed solar power plants across sub-Saharan Africa. According to the company, the funds will enable it to install and lease approximately 1.35MWp of solar power plants and 156kWp of batteries to eight C&I customers in sub-Saharan Africa. Additional debt raises will follow in the coming year.

Lisa Ashford, CEO of Energise Africa, said, “The increase in social and climate awareness in the UK this year has led to investors seeking projects that support a bigger purpose rather than just looking for financial gains.” She also noted the investment opportunities offered by Energise Africa, like these recent raises for Solarise Africa have provided the path for individuals to invest, creating a positive impact while targeting a financial return. 

Energise Africa is a UK-based impact investing platform founded by leading crowdfunding platforms Ethex and Lendahand in 2017. The platform aims to provide life-changing clean electricity by people-powered finance, reaching millions of people in sub-Saharan Africa and beyond.

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