Solar firm raises US$16m to fund AI solar expansion in Africa

Off-grid solar firm Azuri Technologies has raised US$16 million in funding as it reaches the milestone of 100,000 sales of its PayGo solar home systems in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Launched in 2011, Azuri provides access to affordable, clean energy for off-grid communities across 12 countries in Africa.

The company has secured a US$5 million debt facility from Standard Chartered Bank as well as a US$11 million equity funding round to support its growth across Africa.

Azuri said the financing will underpin its ambitious growth in existing markets and accelerate growth in new markets, such as the programme announced in January to provide power to 20,000 households in Nigeria.

It also announced it has successfully sold 100,000 PayGo solar home systems across Africa.

“The milestone of 100,000 systems sold marks the next phase of Azuri’s journey. Coupled with the recently completed funding announcements, we look forward to continuing to grow our presence and serve the millions of customers that still lack access to modern electrical services,” said Simon Bransfield-Garth, Chief Executive of Azuri.

Azuri delivers lighting, phone charging, radio and TV access in packages paid for through mobile money. The PayGo solar product range includes a satellite TV package targeting households without electricity, launched in Kenya in December 2016, and solar lighting systems.

These systems incorporate the company’s HomeSmart technology.

Azuri claims to be the first company to have implemented Artificial Intelligence (AI) in small solar home systems in sub-Saharan Africa via this system.