Paris-based impact fund makes first investment in Nigeria
With the investment in Rensource, I&P plans to expand its footprint in Anglophone Africa.
I&P Afrique Entrepreneurs 2 (IPAE 2), a fund managed by Investisseurs & Partenaires (I&P), a Paris-based impact investment group focused on financing and supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), has added a Nigerian renewable energy startup, Rensource Energy, to its portfolio. The investment in Rensource is I&P’s first entry into Nigeria, according to Africa Global Funds (AGF), a publication covering the African investment space.
Rensource builds and operates off-grid solar-powered micro-utilities in Nigeria. The renewable energy company provides services to SMEs by way of a power-as-a-service (PaaS) model. A solar PaaS entails the distribution of electricity to end-users without the customers owning the generating infrastructure. End-users are simply billed for the wattage of electricity used. Rensource provides renewable energy utility at scale to SMEs in market clusters and commercial hubs.
Rensource is regarded as Nigeria’s fastest-growing provider of off-grid power. Launched in 2016, the company provides off-grid electricity in six states in Nigeria. Rensource’s co-founder, Ademola Adesina, told TechCrunch that the company plans to expand to 100 markets in the country and across other African countries within 24 months. In 2019, the startup raised a $20 million Series A round led by CRE Venture Capital and the Omidyar Network.
A report by AGF on Monday said I&P’s investment in Nigeria would be monitored from its office in Ghana where the impact fund also made an investment in New Crystal Health Services Limited, a healthcare company that provides affordable and reliable healthcare services to the urban poor.
“We are excited to partner with the promoters behind New Crystal and Rensource, two pioneering enterprises that are aligned with the impact ethos of I&P,” said Baafour Otu-Boateng, Senior Investment Manager at I&P. “Our Ghana office has natural access to a robust deal pipeline from Nigeria, and we look forward to learning from and deploying our partnership model to support the SMEs in Nigeria that are vital to the country’s long-term economic growth.”
IPAE 2, the impact fund launched by the French company in 2017, aims to support more than 30 companies in SSA by 2022. The company, which is active in Francophone countries – Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Madagascar, Niger and Senegal – plans to expand its footprint in Anglophone Africa. The fund targets diverse sectors to deliver financial returns and also social and environmental impact.
I&P’s investment in Rensource was made alongside co-investors such as CRE Ventures, Omidyar Network, PROPARCO, Inspired Evolution and EDP.
The SE4All Africa Hub is developing a programme to scale up investments in commercially viable green mini-grid projects.
The Nigerian National Council on Power has adopted the Sustainable Energy for All Action Agenda.
The agreement is part of the second phase of the BoI/UNDP Access to Renewable Energy Project.
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