About Us

Who we are

Founded a decade ago, Persistent is Africa’s Climate Venture Builder. We believe in the power of carbon-neutral economic development in Africa and as such are leading experts and pioneer investors in the renewable sector on the continent. We build commercially successful businesses that can scale sustainably, driven by the belief that it is the best approach to outsized climate and socio-economic impact in underserved African markets.

Persistent invests financial capital and human resources, through our venture building model, focusing on ideation to early growth stage. We often second our team members (venture builders) to work in operational roles, hand in hand with the management teams of our portfolio companies. In alignment with the needs of the portfolio companies, our team typically focuses on strategic and operational finance management, capital raising and structuring, business analytics and development of KPI tools, and legal and human capital advisory.

To date, Persistent has made 23 (and counting) early-stage investments (4 exits) in PAYGO solar home systems, commercial and industrial solar, ecosystem enablers, and e-mobility players. Next to delivering solid financial returns, we have also contributed to improving over 4 million lives, powering half a million households, avoiding over 1 million tons of CO2e, and creating 10,000 jobs. We are currently investing and venture building from our Series C proceeds and are raising a dedicated Climate Venture Building Fund to continue to shape Climate sectors in Africa for the next decade.

Persistent further leverages its unique industry expertise as an advisor to the $120m Energy Entrepreneurs Growth Fund (EEGF), managed by Triple Jump. Initiated in 2019 by Shell Foundation and FMO, the EEGF provides catalytic financing for early and growth-stage companies in Sub Saharan Africa, operating in the access to energy ecosystem.

Furthermore, Persistent acts as Foundation Advisor to the CEI Africa foundation with the mandate to accelerate market development of the African off-grid energy and green mini-grid sectors to achieve the goal of universal access to energy by 2030. In its capacity as Foundation Advisor, Persistent is responsible for managing the CEI Africa Foundation’s Crowdlending Window which will co-finance companies in the target sectors alongside qualified Crowdlenders.

Persistent is fortunate to count a distinguished group of impact-oriented funders as our investors such as FSDAi and Kyuden Shell Foundation, USAID, FCDO, the Cottier Donzé Foundation, and Dream Project Incubators amongst others. We have raised capital from high-net-worth individuals, family offices, corporate and private foundations, and DFIs and have a history of accepting equity, debt, and grant capital into Persistent.

The company is committed to a collaborative approach to accelerate the development of the renewable energy sector, which is underscored by numerous sector-defining publications and analysis.

Our Value Statement

Our foundational purpose is to improve lives regardless of race, religion, gender, creed, sexual orientation, physical or mental limitations or background. We encourage and celebrate the entire variety of human experience in our work and around the world. We believe that dignity is a basic human right and one we uphold.

Our Approach

We seek to work with exceptional entrepreneurs to build businesses that are aligned with our investment criteria and partner with them in the following ways:

  • We take on key roles at our partner companies to help build finance capacity, engage in strategic planning, assist with IT development and fund raise.
  • We leverage our extensive networks and deep sector and market knowledge to find the most promising opportunities for our partner companies.
  • We utilize on the ground presence and deep operational knowledge at the board level, as a strategic adviser and in temporary management roles to accelerate growth of partner companies. Read more about What We Do.
  • We institute governance and processes to improve visibility into business performance and mitigate risk.

Pioneering Milestones

  1. 2022

    • Persistent office in Nairobi

      The Kenyan entity opened in April

    • Publication

      The opportunity for two wheel e-mobility in Sub-Saharan Africa

    • Investment in Hohm

      Online Software Platform and Marketplace

    • Investment in SolarTaxi

      e-Mobility Start-up Company in Ghana

    • Series C

      Persistent successfully closed in it´s Series C

    • Investment Beacon

      Leading provider of Data and Grid Management Solutions

    • 2022 Climate Venture Building Conference

      Our very first conference was held in Nairobi

  2. 2021

    • CEI Africa Foundation

      Crowdlending window lead. First point of contact with Crowdlenders, managing the co-investment process with them (pipeline, screening, due diligence) and portfolio monitoring.

    • Investment in CarbonClear

      First carbon offsetting investment

    • Investment in Tri

      Entering the market on Electric Tuk Tuk´s

    • Publications

      Profitability study and Altech case study published

  3. 2020

    • Initiating the Energy Access Relief Fund

      Alongside other industry players, Persistent initiated this fund with the aim to maintain the sector’s progress in bringing renewable energy to all

    • Investment in Ecobodaa

      First investment in road e-mobility

  4. 2019

    • Launch of the EEGF

      The launch of the Energy Entrepreneurs Growth Fund with Persistent serving as advisor to the fund

    • Investment in Asobo

      First investment in water e-mobility

  5. 2018

    • Investment in Zonful Energy

      First off-grid company in Zimbabwe

  6. 2017

    • Investment in Oolu Solar

      First off-grid company in Senegal, Mali and Burkina Faso

  7. 2016

    • Investment in SolarWorks!

      First off-grid company in Mozambique

  8. 2015

    • Held the first Seminar for the Sector on FX risk mitigation in PAYG companies

    • Successfully structured and closed Africa‘s first solar asset receivables backed securitization

      BBOXX DEARS securitization in Kenyan Shillings

  9. 2014

    • Published seminal white paper

      Published seminal white paper on how to build commercially sustainable companies in the PAYG sector

  10. 2013

    • Invested in Fenix

      Investment in first off-grid company in Uganda

    • Invested in Persistent Energy Ghana (PEG Africa)

      First off-grid energy company in West Africa

  11. 2012

    • Invested in Off Grid Electric

      First investment in an off-grid company