Shell Backs Clean Energy Financier

AI-Enabled Clean Energy Financing Platform Nithio FI Attracts Oil Giant

Shell Backs Clean Energy Financier

Explaining the rationale behind investing in Nithio FI, Shell Foundation says the company’s business model can act as a ‘significant stepping-stone’ towards mobilizing large-scale private climate finance. (Illustrative Photo; Photo Credit: Dewald Kirsten/Shutterstock.com)

  • Shell Foundation along with UK Aid has invested an undisclosed amount in Nithio FI
  • The AI-enabled clean energy financing vehicle of Nithio will use proceeds to expand energy access across Sub-Saharan Africa
  • It currently provides direct clean energy financing to solar companies in Kenya, Uganda and Nigeria

The independent charity of Royal Dutch Shell, Shell Foundation has become an investor in artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled clean energy financing platform in Africa, Nithio FI (Financial Intermediary).

The ‘catalytic’ investment from the foundation is co-funded with UK Aid from the UK government. The undisclosed investment from the duo will enable Nithio FI to ‘de-risk and unlock additional developmental and commercial investments into its open-ended, blended finance vehicle’.

Nithio believes the fresh investment will allow it to expand energy access and scale climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts across Sub-Saharan Africa, as it aims for its financing to provide energy access to over 3.5 million people by 2025.

Nithio FI is the financing vehicle of Nithio that directly provides receivables-backed lending to solar companies in Kenya, Uganda and Nigeria for now. Its lending is powered by what it terms as a unique Risk Analytics Engine that leverages geospatial data, consumer repayment data and AI and financial modelling.

This tool enables it to standardize credit risk assessments, inform due diligence and enhance portfolio and impact monitoring.

With this investment, Shell Foundation joins the likes of US Development Finance Corporation (DFC), EDFI-ElectriFI, and FSD Africa Investments as investors in the platform that is currently building analytical production lines for the foundation under an existing partnership.

“We see Nithio FI’s innovative receivables financing model leading to financial aggregation as a significant stepping-stone towards mobilizing large-scale private climate finance,” said Climate & Innovation Lead, Shell Foundation, Ashish Kumar.

Previously, through Shell New Energies, the oil giant participated in a Series B investment round of PowerGen, a micro-grid company in Africa (see Shell To Invest In African Micro-Grid Firm).

About The Author

Anu Bhambhani

Anu Bhambhani is the Senior News Editor of TaiyangNews

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