Persistent Energy Capital, an impact venture builder of off-grid energy companies in underserved markets, announced that it has deepened its relationship with Altech, a leading solar retailer in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Altech was founded in 2013 by Washikala Malango and Iongwa Mashangao. Since then it has grown rapidly, selling over 140,000 solar products through its 12 province distribution network. Off-grid households in DRC are among the world’s poorest and their citizens the most underserved with grid connected electricity. Households spend half of their daily income on candles, kerosene lamps and other fuel in order to light their homes, charge mobile phones, power home appliances, and cook.
Altech and Persistent began working together last year with a small investment that enabled Altech to launch a pay-as-you-go (PAYG) pilot project. PAYG involves selling solar home systems to off-grid familes and businesses on credit. Persistent has made an additional investment which will enable Altech to move beyond the pilot stage and begin to deploy PAYG products on a larger scale. Persistent has also committed to provide its expertise as an impact venture builder and to invest additional capital in the future to assist Altech in growth and expanision of its PAYG operations throughout the DRC.
Altech is the recipient of the 2018 SwissRe Foundation E4RA award and has received extensive support form ELAN RDC, a UKAID market development project, and Ensemble Pour la Difference, a UK based impact charity, in its development.
“70 million people living in the DRC do not have access to safe, reliable energy,” said Persistent Partner and Co-Founder Chris Aidun. “Altech has made greater inroads into reaching this population than any other company we have found. We are excited to deepen our collaboration with them. We have been very impressed with what Washikala and Iongwa have accomplished and believe that they will build a great company and reach over a million people with clean energy as we bring them the benefits of our venture building model.”
Co-founder Washikala Malango said, “Persistent is the first private sector investor to provide Altech with significant capital and a know-how sharing partnership.” Partner and Co-Founder Iongwa Mashangao said “We are delighted that they want to expand their role with us and look forward to growing with their help.”