EDP (Euronext: EDRP), a leading global producer of wind power has invested €2 million in SolarWorks! B.V., a leading pay-as-you-go (PAYG) company based in Mozambique. The investment is the result of a round of financing led by EDP Renováveis (an EDP Group subsidiary) in partnership with venture building firm Persistent Energy Capital LLC.
The investment will boost the international expansion of SolarWorks! in Southern Africa, the company’s business sphere since launching its operation in 2016. Currently, SolarWorks! Is planning expansion from Mozambique to Malawi in its bid to ensure some of its products get across to countries in Southern Africa. As a PAYG business, SolarWorks! sells solar home systems and related products to off-grid households and small businesses in rural and peri-urban areas.
Mr Arnoud de Vroomen, CEO, SolarWorks! commended EDPR for its foresight by injecting new cash into the growing business. He also applauded Persistent’s effort in building SolarWorks! over the years since the partnership between both companies began in 2015. According to him, the partnership with Persistent Energy Capital, a company that continues to invest in and builds impact ventures in underserved markets has propelled the company to a new level.
“The potential of the off-grid energy market in Africa is enormous. Persistent has been the ideal partner for us to build SolarWorks! to where it is today. EDPR is one of the biggest players in the world in renewable energy and we consider ourselves fortunate to welcome them as a partner with SolarWorks! and Persistent to achieve our next phase of growth,” said Arnoud de Vroomen, CEO and co-founder of SolarWorks! while reacting to the new investment funding.
In his own reaction, Persistent Partner, Rodrigo Weiss could not hide his excitement over the new investment deal that will help both Persistent and SolarWorks! expand sales of solar home systems in Africa. “We are very proud of SolarWorks! and their development into the most dynamic PAYG company in Southern Africa. We are delighted that EDP Renováveis will be investing and providing their expertise to continue SolarWorks! on its successful growth trajectory,” he said.
Africa is fast becoming a good bet for off-grid solar companies due to the electricity crisis the continent is facing. Off-grid solar energy has recorded an unprecedented success in East Africa and has spread to other regions in the continent in recent times. One of the leading actors in the industry that has also invested in Africa is EDP. Since 2009, the Group has invested about €5 million in A2E projects, directly impacting more than 20,000 people
“…This commitment is also an opportunity for the Group’s internationalization strategy. SolarWorks! is a very promising company with a differentiated business model, an experienced management team, and a solid shareholder structure,” says António Mexia, CEO of EDP.
According to Mexia, EDP has been actively engaged in developing solutions in this area for emerging economies, where a significant part of the rural population still lacks access to electricity.