South African solar startup Wetility has successfully secured R903 million (approximately $48 million) in funding, combining both debt and equity.
The CEO, Vincent Maposa, revealed that these funds will be directed towards accelerating expansion plans and growing the company’s customer base.
This funding round consists of R180 million in convertible debt and a total debt amount, which includes a R600 million commercial debt package involving entities such as Sanlam and prominent commercial and development banks.
Notably, MultiChoice played a pivotal role in the initial venture debt funding for Wetility through its MultiChoice Accelerator Program, part of the MultiChoice Innovation Fund, in January 2022. Wetility has also formed a marketing partnership with MultiChoice, leveraging SuperSport viewership to promote its products.
Founded in 2019, Wetility’s flagship offering is a comprehensive digital solar energy management system known as the “360 Wetility Experience.” This system allows users to remotely control power consumption and encompasses rooftop photovoltaic (PV) installations or solar panels. These solar panels generate power for the system’s core components, which include hybrid inverters, lithium-ion batteries, and switchgear. Marketed as “PACE,” this system manages energy distribution to homes or businesses, effectively handling load shedding and switching schedules. Users can access information about their system and make subscription payments via a dashboard referred to as “We-X.”
Johanna Hortz, Chief of Staff at Wetility, emphasized the significance of this recent fundraising effort. She stated that it signifies the trust and confidence of customers, investors, and commercial partners in Wetility’s vision. This capital injection provides the means to expedite growth and make a substantial impact in South Africa’s power fintech sector.
Addressing why the majority of the funding was raised as debt, Hortz pointed out the capital-intensive nature of the sector and the importance of making hybrid solar solutions affordable through subscription models. She stressed the importance of maintaining a strong balance sheet and effective financial management while pursuing ambitious growth strategies in such a capital-intensive industry.
Wetility has set ambitious goals, aiming to grow from a $1.5 million (approximately R29 million) business to a $142 million (approximately R2.7 billion) business by 2026. With ongoing challenges faced by Eskom and the infusion of new capital, the company appears poised to achieve this milestone, offering South Africans an alternative to the struggling national grid.