Azuri Announces Launch of $20 Million Debt Financing

Azuri Technologies, a pay-as-you-go (PayGo) off-grid solar products provider in the sub-Saharan African region, has announced the launch of its $20 million off-balance-sheet debt financing program.

The program is aimed at providing working capital for the expansion of off-grid energy and service provision in east Africa.

The program will be deployed under phases this year. The first phase of $4 million has already been concluded. It included investments from the European Union program ElectriFI, alongside Azuri, and its investment partners.

The chief executive officer of Azuri, Simon Bransfield-Garth, was quoted in a press release as saying, “Completing the first phase of our receivables financing program is a major step for Azuri. The support of ElectriFI is a great vote of confidence in the opportunity in the African off-grid home solar sector as a whole, and in Azuri in particular. It will enable us to attract a new set of commercial investors to expand the impact of our work.”

The initial phase of Azuri’s program will be deployed in Kenya to provide additional financing to the company for the supply of its PayGo solar systems to households across the country.

Subsequent phases of the program will expand to Azuri’s other key territories in east Africa, including Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.

The senior investment Officer at ElectriFI, Hatem Mahbouli, commented on the development saying, “A major barrier to investments in access to energy in developing countries is the lack of working capital finance. ElectriFI is delighted to be supporting the off-grid energy sector in sub-Saharan Africa and providing catalytic finance that will help improve the conditions for mainstream investment in this underfunded sector”.

The Pay-As-You-Go (PayGo) a rapidly growing style of financing which brings solar products within the reach of more and more consumers. It requires access to substantial levels of commercial debt capital. The Azuri financing program will allow raising and securing of commercial debt against the future revenues of Azuri customers. The program will also provide confidence to debt investors by assuring them that the finances are deployed in a proper manner and that the customer receipts are secured.

Mercom had previously reported the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) awarding a total of $6.3 million to strengthen the off-grid energy sector in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Husk Power Systems, a renewable utility company working towards rural electrification, had also received an equity investment worth $20 million to expand the renewable mini-grid business in Africa and Asia. The investment was provided by three entities: Shell Technology Ventures, Swedfund International (Swedish development finance institution) and ENGIE Rassembleurs d’Energies, (ENGIE group’s impact investment fund).