It’s been an exciting year full of change at Persistent.
We saw our portfolio and the world challenged by COVID-19. While it was a difficult year for expansion, both on the ground and in fundraising, our partner companies navigated the challenges well and Persistent was an active partner with them in many ways, helping them overcome these challenges.
Some of our 2020 highlights include:
- We strengthened our team with four new members and continued to increase our presence in Africa out of Nairobi, Kenya
- We collaborated with strategic investor RP Global and Nigerian impact investor All-On to bring over USD 8 million of new equity capital into our West African partner companies Oolu Solar
- We worked together with our co-investor, the renewables subsidiary of Portuguese energy company Energias du Portugal, to bring new capital into our Southern African partner SolarWorks!
- We committed additional equity and assisted in the process of raising debt in the amount of over USD 3 million for our Congolese partner Altech
- We helped our Zimbabwean partner Zonful Energy restructure, positioning it for future growth
- We committed additional equity, set up the financial management and worked together with the co-founder to build the team, raise grant funding and acquire the first paying customers for ASOBO
- We signed a commitment letter to enter into a venture building partnership in the e-mobility space
- We continued supporting our portfolio via our Board mandates, helping them also with strategic decisions like rethinking their profitability positions, through a detailed analysis of industry profitability performed by Persistent.
Early in the COVID-19 crisis, we saw the vastness of the negative impact the pandemic would have on the PAYGO sector. As a result, we were the first to initiate a COVID relief fund for energy access companies, which became an industry-wide project. To date the UN Green Climate Fund has committed USD 30 million and others have committed another USD 30 million to the relief fund, which will be managed by SIMA.
We were contracted by Power Africa to develop a financial model tool for PAYG energy access companies, which will be published in a series of webinars in January. We have also continued to engage in other advisory roles where we believe our particular expertise is most useful.
Looking ahead to 2021 we are anxiously anticipating a post-pandemic world full of opportunities for our existing partner companies and our prospects. This will lead us to raise additional capital in 2021.
It was a hard year for so many people across our portfolio and across the world. We thank you for all of your support of Persistent, our team and our companies through this difficult time. We are grateful for the opportunity we have had to continue our work together.
We wish you all a very Happy New Year and the very best for 2021!