The e-commerce industry in South Africa has experienced a boom since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic — and Black Friday was no exception….
Pay-as-you-go solar company PEG Africa has raised a $25-million Series-C round which it plans to use for off-grid solar expansion in Ivory Coast, Ghana and Senegal.
The firm — which is based in Accra, Ghana — provides West African households with credit for solar home systems via its pay-as-you-go financing model, announced the raise in a statement last Wednesday (20 March).
PEG Africa said $20-million of the round is in debt, with UK development finance institution CDC Group — along with existing lenders SunFunder and ResponsAbility — having arranged a $15-million multi-currency facility.
PEG Africa was founded in 2013 by CEO Hugh Whalan and COO Nate Heller
The round’s remaining $5-million comprises equity investments from a number of investors, they include: Energy Access Ventures, Blue Haven Initiative, I&P Afrique Entrepreneurs, Acumen Fund, as well as new investors Total Energy Ventures and the Renewable Energy Performance Platform.
In the statement, PEG Africa — which was founded in 2013 by CEO Hugh Whalan and COO Nate Heller — said this latest round brings the company’s total raised funding to $50-million.
Whalan said as the first pay-as-you-go company to set up in West Africa, PEG Africa has “always felt” that it could build a “large, profitable business” by focusing on financing the solar needs of underserved customers in the region.
He added that PEG Africa’s solar solutions deliver “better, cleaner and cheaper” energy, and that the company has been successful at expanding rapidly and profitably while improving the lives of some of the poorest and most vulnerable in the countries it operates in.
“More than 50% of PEG’s customers earn less than $3 per day, while 89% do not have access to the national electricity grid, and 82% have never received financing or access to credit before PEG entered their lives,” explained Whalan.
PEG claims it serves over 60 000 households through 70 service centres and employs over 400 full-time staff and 550 commission-based sales agents.
Commenting in the same statement, CDC managing director Holger Rothenbusch said his organisation is “very excited” to be supporting PEG, adding that its facility is the first local currency debt it has provided to a solar company in the region.
He added that the deal marks “an important step” towards reducing the sector’s exposure to currency fluctuation and increasing its long-term financial sustainability.
Total Energy Ventures senior investment manager Ademidun Edosomwan said PEG’s leadership in West Africa where Total also has a large footprint made it a “logical investment”.
*Correction (26 March 2019): In an earlier version of the article we misspelt PEG Africa COO Nate Heller’s name as Nate Heler. Ventureburn regrets the error.
Featured image: PEG Africa (Supplied)