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Press release: Engaged UK Crowd Raises £1.7M for Electrifying Africa

April 4th, 2018, Cambridge, United Kingdom. – Off-grid solar energy is providing a way for the 600 million Africans to leap-frog over the traditional grid and obtain access to modern devices powered by clean energy.
With the advent of pay-as-you-go technology, consumers can access solar energy, which is as an affordable alternative to kerosene lanterns and phone charging fees. But in order to scale, providers of pay-as-you-go solar technology require commercial debt finance to build the solar equipment in the first place.
Here, Crowd Finance is providing access to capital that is helping drive the transformation of rural Africa. Azuri Technologies, a leading provider of pay-as-you-go solar products and services across sub-Saharan Africa, has recently partnered with Energise Africa to enable retail investors to support the sector and at the same time, make a potential return of 5% per annum on their investment. Over the last 9 months, £1.7M has been raised to deliver power to some 16,000 households, and the rate of investment is rapidly growing.
The partnership between Azuri and Lendahand Ethex makes it simple for everyday people to invest in a sector that can deliver a social, environmental, and financial return to both the investor and the end consumer, via the Energise Africa platform. Energise Africa provides information on a range of possible solar investments and allows lenders to keep an eye on the performance of their investment.
The finance enables Azuri to supply PayGo solar home systems to off-grid households in Africa on a commercial basis. The cost of the solar home system is less than the cost of the kerosene lamps and mobile phone charging fees that it replaces and provides clean light and power for phones at the touch of a button.
One user, Alice who lives in Vota, Kenya purchased an Azuri Quad Solar Home System which provides light, phone charging, a portable radio and a torch. She commented “The kerosene lamps were so dim and made the children cough. Now we have solar power, both of my sons can study safely in the evening and their grades have dramatically improved. Now that I have solar, I would never want to go back to kerosene”.
Simon Bransfield-Garth, CEO of Azuri Technologies said:
“We are delighted to be associated with Energise Africa and work with the crowd to fund off-grid solar projects.  Innovative financing is ensuring that we can solve the problem of energy access in sub-Saharan Africa.
Danny den  Hartog, Managing Director of Lendahand Ethex said:
“Through Energise Africa, Lendahand Ethex is committed to providing UK based investors with easily accessible opportunities to invest directly in sustainable businesses that can create long-term social and environmental impact, whilst also delivering a potential financial return. By working with mission-driven organisations like Azuri Technologies we can significantly scale the power of the individual investor to bring affordable solar energy to thousands of people across Africa – transforming lives”.

For further information:
Lauren McIntosh | Azuri Technologies Ltd. | media@azuri-technologies.com 
Rachel Mountain | Lendahand Ethex Ltd. | rachel@lendahand.co.uk

Source: http://www.azuri-technologies.com/news/engaged-uk-crowd-raises-1-7m-for-electrifying-africa

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