Zola Electric caters to over 1 million customers in 5 African nations, providing off-grid solar, battery, power electronics systems. With $32.5 million coming from FMO and Symbiotics, it hopes to reach out to 145,500 more households in Tanzania. (Photo Credit: Zola Electric)
- Zola Electric has raised $32.5 million from FMO and Symbiotics as loan for a period of 5 years
- It plans to use this financing package to provide access to an additional 145,500 households to access energy in areas with no grid infrastructure in Tanzania
- This will also lead to job creation of around 2,100 new jobs, growing from the 1,000 people it employs currently in 5 nations
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Off-grid solar power company Zola Electric, formerly known as Off-Grid Electric, has raised $32.5 million from Dutch development bank FMO and sustainable, inclusive finance firm Symbiotics. Tanzania based Zola Electric will use the proceeds to finance its growth in Tanzania over the next 5 years.
The company uses solar, battery and power electronics technology to provide electricity to off-grid populations using the Pay-As-You-Go model. Zola Electric says this financial package is expected to create around 2,100 new jobs in the sector, providing access to an additional 145,500 households to access energy in areas with no grid infrastructure. It currently employs over 1,000 people in 5 countries and has brought electricity to more than 1,000,000 customers.
FMO acted as the lead arranger of the package and also provided technical assistance to put a credit scoring system in place. Zola Electric said the loan comprises $5 million from Access to Energy Fund (AEF), which catalyzes the investment of $12.5 million from FMO-A and $15 million from Symbiotics. Loan tenure is 5 years.
“The off-grid sector is developing fast and receiving increased attention from investors but is still perceived as high risk; few players have reached profitability. Zola Electric Tanzania has a dedicated and professional management team and is well on the way on its path towards profitability,” said Fund Manager to AEF, Rosemarijn van der Meij.
In July 2018, SunFunder approved $20 million debt financing for Zola Electric to support its expansion across Africa (see Zola Electric Gets $20 Million For Expansion).