Persistent and La Difference Formalize Commitment to Altech Group with Series A Investment

July 22, 2021 news category

Altech officially closed an investment round consisting of over USD 10 million in debt and equity. While all investors have been impressed with Altech’s financial success to date, they were also driven by the impact investing in Altech will have on improving access to electricity in a country with one of the largest off-grid populations in the world.

Persistent led the equity portion of the round as the lead investor with excellent support from La Difference, the leading business accelerator in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). SIMA Angaza Distributor Finance Fund (DFF) became the first lender to Altech, followed by the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), crowdfunders Kiva, and Lendahand. Altech completed its debt round by signing with crowdfunder Trine most recently, bringing its total debt facilities to USD 9 million.

The equity round was oversubscribed but kept under USD 1 million, focused on strengthening Altech´s corporate governance. This equity investment, combined with enhanced corporate governance, reinforces Altech´s position as the leading pay-as-you-go (PAYGo) off-grid energy distributor in the DRC.

“The expert support from La Différence and Persistent has been invaluable over the past few years. Iongwa and I have grown Altech from a two-man operation to now one with nearly 2,000 employees and agents in 60 locations throughout the DRC. We have accomplished a great deal along the way in professionalizing our operations and this equity investment is another important one for us,” said Washikala Malango, co-founder of Altech.

This most recent investment will allow Altech to further invest in strategic projects and continue to strengthen its market position as it raises debt capital for inventory financing.
La Difference has supported Altech since its inception through strategic advice and working capital as the company progressed from the blueprint to the validation stage of the business. La Difference co-founder Mike Beeston also serves as chairman on Altech’s board, thereby providing continuous strategic advice as Altech is scaling its operations. La Difference is also overseeing the planning and execution of Altech’s IT strategy.

Persistent was the first institutional investor to take interest in Altech and the two organizations have been formally working together since 2017. In 2019 Persistent extended a convertible loan and entered into a venture building partnership with Altech to help it become more investable by other institutions. The venture building work included professionalizing its accounting system, building a robust financial model and marketing materials, and supporting the development of Altech’s business strategy. Persistent co-founder Chris Aidun serves on Altech’s board, contributing over ten years of experience in the off-grid energy sector. Through its venture building work Persistent brought five institutional debt investors on board.

“Since we began working with Altech we have been extremely impressed by its leaders’ vision, skill and ability to motivate their team. Working in one of the most challenging business climates in the world, they have built one of the most profitable and impactful PAYGo solar businesses in Sub-Saharan Africa. Persistent is proud of its partnership with Altech,” said Persistent co-founder Chris Aidun.

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