Inspired Evolution, an Africa-focused investment advisory firm that specializes in the clean energy sector, closed a ZAR 100 million ($7.47 million) investment facility by its Evolution II Fund into Commercial Energy SA – an affiliate of SolarAfrica.
Commercial Energy SA offers financing platform that provides funding solutions for long-term private commercial and industrial (C&I) solar PV customers, through SolarAfrica’s network of EPC contractor partners. Commercial Energy SA is positioned to benefit from the rapid growth evidenced in the South African C&I market over the past few years and be a first-mover to capitalize on the growing opportunities further afield in select Sub-Saharan African countries.
SolarAfrica CEO, James Irons said in a media statement, “We are excited to have Evolution II as our funding partner in this growing specialised market. Inspired Evolution’s expertise, track record, strong networks and investor base adds significant value to Commercial Energy SA as a financing platform under SolarAfrica, allowing us to expand our digital credit portal with more aggressive acquisitions of solar PV rooftop projects, as well as launch in other maturing markets.”
The company is targeting an initial ZAR350 – 500 million ($26 million-$37 million) of financing to convert its pipeline of eligible projects that require long-term financing solutions. This includes leveraging commercial debt financing from preferred banking partners that have approved its credit-platform to scale up its portfolio and achieve accelerated project conversion.
Steven Faure, senior investment principal at Inspired Evolution who led the deal added, “This new financing platform will provide better equipment, contractual and performance standardization via an innovative digital credit and design technology portal (UniFii) that removes previous market barriers and unlocks clean energy rooftop solutions for building owners and SMME businesses, providing them with clear visibility of electricity savings with increased energy independence”.
To date, Inspired Evolution has been involved in developing and financing more than 1,000 MW of renewable energy infrastructure generation projects across Sub-Saharan Africa.
According to Mercom’s recently published 2018 Q4 and Annual Solar Funding and M&A Report, more than $258.5 billion was raised by 42 newly established funds that focus on renewable energy investments in 2018, compared to $19.4 billion raised by 56 new funds in 2017.