NAIROBI, KENYA — SunCulture, a Kenya-based technology company and leader in solar power systems, water pumps, and irrigation systems for smallholder farmers, closed a Series A investment round of USD 14 million. Energy Access Ventures (EAV) led the round and was joined by Électricité de France (EDF), Acumen Capital Partners (ACP), and Dream Project Incubators (DPI). EAV is furthering its investment after having participated in SunCulture’s 2017 seed round, while EDF has supported SunCulture since 2018 both as an investor and as a business development partner, primarily in West Africa where EDF is a leading player in off-grid solar systems.
SunCulture offers comprehensive solutions tailored to smallholder farmers, combining market-leading technology with Pay-As-You-Grow (PAYG) financing and value-add services. As the first company to commercialize solar-powered irrigation in Africa, SunCulture currently reaches customers across Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Zambia, Senegal, Togo, and Cote D’Ivoire. With these funds, SunCulture is in a position to accelerate direct sales in Kenya, continue to expand internationally, and fund existing product improvements and new product innovation.
In Africa, 80% of families depend on agriculture for their livelihoods, but just 4% use irrigation, while the remainder of households rely on increasingly unpredictable rainfall. This challenge is compounded by the reality that over half the population in sub-Saharan Africa lacks access to a reliable and affordable source of energy. SunCulture’s systems enable customers to increase their agricultural productivity while accessing a steady supply of water and clean energy for household use. Farmers can grow their incomes 5-10x through increasing yields, growing higher-value cash crops, cultivating more of their land, and raising more livestock.
Samir Ibrahim, SunCulture’s CEO and Co-Founder, underscores the urgency and impact of addressing affordability in a bid to eradicate food insecurity across the continent, “Now more than ever, scaling access to clean energy and water is critical for food security, smallholder farmer livelihoods, and climate resilience. This is essential to the wellbeing of rural households, as well as farmers’ ability to support themselves in uncertain times. This equity raise puts us in a position to dramatically accelerate our growth and international expansion. We’re thrilled to work with this phenomenal coalition of investors, who have a deep understanding of our business and share our commitment to reaching underserved communities.”
Ekta Partners acted as the exclusive financial advisor for this transaction. CrossBoundary provided additional advisory support, including an analysis on the market opportunity and competitive landscape, under the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Kenya Investment Mechanism Program.
Samir Ibrahim, SunCulture’s CEO and Co-Founder, is available for interviews.
SunCulture press contact: Mikayla Czajkowski, firstname.lastname@example.org
SunCulture develops and commercializes life-changing technology that solves the biggest daily challenges for the world’s 570 million smallholder farming households. It is a market leader in solar-powered water pumps and irrigation systems, serving customers in Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Zambia, Senegal, Togo, and Cote D’Ivoire. SunCulture won Global LEAP Awards for both RainMaker2 with ClimateSmart Battery™ and ClimateSmart Direct™. The Global LEAP Awards identify best-in-class off-grid appliance technologies that lead the pack in energy efficiency and cost-effectiveness. SunCulture’s investors and partners include EAV, ACP, EDF, Shell Foundation, USAID, Microsoft Corporation, AlphaMundi, FSD Kenya, SNV, AgriFI, MercyCorps AgriFin, and MIT. The company is recognized as a Bloomberg New Energy Pioneer and a Financial Times Transformational Business, and was named to the London Stock Exchange’s “Companies to Inspire Africa” index.
About EAV (Energy Access Ventures)
Energy Access Ventures is a leading smart infrastructure investment firm in Africa. With over 40 years of investment experience in Africa, EAV is uniquely positioned to take advantage of the emerging smart, distributed, cost-effective infrastructure market segment. EAV has carved out a reputation as a hands-on investor that works closely with its portfolio companies to capture the significant opportunity in Africa. EAV’s first fund (“EAV I”) was raised in February 2015 and is €75,000,000 in size with 9 investment professionals. The fund is sponsored by the leading French multinational Schneider Electric and is managed by Aster Capital in Paris. Its investors are CDC Group (UK), managing funds for the UK Department for International Development, 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, Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden (FMO), the Netherlands Development Finance Company the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) and Schneider Electric.
About EDF (Électricité de France)
A key player in energy transition, the EDF Group is an integrated electricity company, active in all areas of the business: genera-tion, transmission, distribution, energy supply and trading, energy services. A global leader in low-carbon energies, the Group has developed a diversified generation mix based on nuclear power, hydropower, new renewable energies and thermal energy. The Group is involved in supplying energy and services to approximately 38.9 million customers, 28.8 million of which are in France. It generated consolidated sales of €71 billion in 2019. EDF is listed on the Paris Stock Exchange.
About ACP (Acumen Capital Partners)
Acumen Capital Partners’ Climate Resilience Initiative is focused on investing in companies with business models that help smallholder farmers in East and West Africa become more resilient to climate change. The initiative is supported by, among other supporters, the Green Climate Fund (GCF), Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden (FMO) and The Soros Economic Development Fund (SEDF).
About DPI Group
Dream Project Incubators (DPI) is a Singapore-based renewable energy developer, focusing on utility-scale solar project development and microgrids project development. Also, with its own fund, DPI has been investing in renewable energy startups with dream projects and dream teams. Our mission is to inspire and empower dreams for a better and sustainable future.
Ekta Partners raises capital for growth tech companies who drive positive change in society and for the environment. Ekta’s experienced team works closely with Founders and Companies, providing them access to its 500+ international investor base and efficiently managing their fundraising process towards a successful conclusion.
About CrossBoundary Group
CrossBoundary Group’s mission is to unlock capital to make a strong return and a lasting difference in frontier markets. CrossBoundary Advisory provides a range of due diligence and transaction services. It has advised on over USD 700 million of closed transactions, across a range of sectors in Sub-Saharan Africa and in frontier markets globally.