Kenyan Energy Startup, SunCulture Obtains $11 Million for Its Solar-Powered Irri...

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Feb 2021
Kenya, February, 11 2021 - With these funds, the startup, which claims to be the first company to commercialise solar-powered irrigation in Africa hopes to prevent the emission of 20,000 tonnes of CO2 per year as farmers replace diesel pumps with solar ones whilst facilitating income growth and job opportunities in rural communities.

The $11 million credit facility was arranged by SunFunder, a financing company specialised in solar energy, and joined by new financial partners including the Off-Grid Energy Access Fund of the African Development Bank’s (AfDB) Energy Inclusion Facility (OGEF); Triodos Investment Management, the Danish government’s Nordic Development Fund (NDF); and the investment company AlphaMundi.

Founded in 2013 by Samir Ibrahim, Sunculture offers solutions tailored to smallholder farmers by combining mobile banking technology with pay-as-you-go (PAYG) financing and value-add to reach customers across Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Zambia, Senegal, Togo, and Ivory Coast.

With these funds, the startup, which claims to be the first company to commercialise solar-powered irrigation in Africa hopes to prevent the emission of 20,000 tonnes of CO2 per year as farmers replace diesel pumps with solar ones whilst facilitating income growth and job opportunities in rural communities. 

Samir Ibrahim, Chief Executive Officer at SunCulture, said: “The past year was devastating for the millions of smallholder farmers in Kenya; 87% are in a worse financial position due to the pandemic. 81% of SunCulture farmers, however, were able to increase their revenue from farming in 2020. Solar irrigation helps create food security and sovereignty, and it also helps lift people out of poverty. This facility further enables our efforts to support farmers by providing them with more of our solar solutions and faster.”

Surabhi Mathur Visser, SunFunder’s Chief Investment Officer also commented saying: “SunFunder has set up this facility with a group of like-minded lenders to support an innovative product and business model. We look forward to seeing SunCulture expand into Kenya and new markets.”



 

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