Investec Asset Management is making a significant private equity investment in Mobisol, a provider of off-grid solar home systems in Africa. The capital will be used to accelerate the firm’s expansion in both existing and new markets on the continent.
Mobisol, which is headquartered in Berlin, Germany, sells solar home systems to low-income households in Africa. The firm has already established itself in the Tanzanian and Rwandan markets where it has installed more than 60,000 systems and is now starting to penetrate the market in Kenya.
The company sells its products under a three-year payment plan, with entry-level systems costing approximately the same as its typical customer would spend on kerosene, candles, batteries and mobile phone charging services. As well as making the systems affordable, in a significant number of cases, Mobisol’s customers are able to generate an income from their solar home system, selling electricity on to others.
Since inception Mobisol has installed over 60,000 solar home systems in Tanzania and Rwanda, enabling some 300,000 people to access clean, affordable and reliable solar energy. Mobisol is a major driver of rural development and job creation in East Africa, stimulating economic and social development, particularly for women, while simultaneously contributing to global environmental protection. With over 600 million people in Africa not connected to the grid, Mobisol’s high-quality off-grid solar systems for households and small businesses are substituting the unavailable or poor grid while offering an attractive and highly scalable solution to addressing the energy needs of Africa.
“Our partnership with Investec Asset Management marks an important milestone in the growth history of Mobisol,” said Thomas Gottschalk, Founder and CEO of Mobisol. “The investment and partnership with Investec will allow Mobisol to concentrate on scaling and better serving our customers while constantly innovating and reinforcing our unique competitive edge.”
Investec added private equity to its investment strategy in 2008. In February this year, the asset manager held a $295 million final close for its second fund. The firm targets growth capital and buyout investments in mid-market and larger companies, aiming to create local and regional industry champions on the continent.