Nairobi, February 8, 2017 – Energy Access Ventures – a Venture Capital firm focused on Africa – is very pleased to announce that it has completed an increase of its Fund I size to €75 million (c.$90 million). Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden (FMO), the Netherlands Development Finance Company, joined the fund whilst existing LPs Schneider Electric and CDC both increased their commitments. EAV Fund I held its first closing in February 2015.
EAV will continue to invest in companies worldwide which bring innovative technologies and business models across the electricity value chain thereby improving productivity for industry and access for consumers in Sub-Saharan Africa. EAV works closely with its portfolio companies to help them to grow their businesses by supporting deployment plans, building stellar teams on the ground and introducing customers and strategic partners.
Michael Gera, Managing Partner at EAV, stated: “We have developed an excellent relationship with FMO and are delighted to welcome them aboard. We greatly look forward to working with them along with our current first-class investors. Holding a second closing at this point in a fund’s life is somewhat exceptional and represents a strong endorsement of EAV’s strategy and track record. EAV Fund I’s enhanced size will enable us to strengthen the support we give to our portfolio companies and to have additional reserves for the ones that continue to show long-term promise.”
FMO’s Private Equity Senior Investment Officer, Marieke Roestenberg said: “At FMO we are excited to participate in EAV Fund I. We believe EAV represents a unique opportunity to invest in an existing operational team with a thorough understanding of the energy market in Sub-Saharan Africa combined with solid expertise in early-stage investing. This investment fits with FMO’s strategic agenda in terms of promoting renewable energy, inclusive growth and innovation. At the same time, it will allow FMO to gain exposure to and improve our understanding of the dynamic and rapidly expanding energy access market. Not only will the fund aim to provide improved access to energy to several million underserved consumers in Sub-Saharan Africa, but it is also actively exploring innovative businesses promoting the productive use of solar energy and other transformational business models. We are proud to have become part of this venture and look forward to a long-lasting partnership with the EAV team.”
Gilles Vermot-Desroches, Schneider Electric’s Sustainable Development Senior VP said, “Access to Energy is a basic human right and Schneider Electric is deeply committed to tackle this issue through training, business and of course impact investing. We are proud to contribute to the deployment of access to electricity through financing and technical assistance. We trust EAV to deploy these new funds efficiently to improve lives and boost economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa.”
Sara Taylor, Investment Director of the Impact Fund at CDC said: “Low access to reliable energy in Africa remains a key development challenge. Increasing our investment means that EAV can support more businesses that are strengthening local energy infrastructure and bringing more affordable clean power and economic growth to the continent.”
Energy Access Ventures (www.eavafrica.com) invests in growth companies that employ technologies and innovative business models to take on the challenge of energy access in Africa to improve industrial productivity and consumer utility. With a team that has substantial investment and operating experience, and backers from industry and development finance, the firm brings a unique, hands-on approach to its portfolio companies. EAV Fund I is sponsored by the leading French multinational Schneider Electric and is managed by Aster Capital. Additional investors include CDC Group (UK), the European Investment Bank, the Fonds d’Investissement et de Soutien aux Entreprises en Afrique (FISEA) held by Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and managed by Proparco, the Fonds Français pour l’Environnement Mondial (FFEM), administered by AFD, the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) and Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden (FMO), the Netherlands Development Finance Company.