Having just finished our annual team retreat in Kenya, this is a good time for us to reflect on 2023. After an in-person Board meeting, our team and participating Directors and Observers participated in three days of meetings and workshops to review the year, plan for 2024, and strengthen our bonds with some fun activities. It was a great time that left us all more energized than ever.
The positive developments at Persistent during 2023 are reflected in creating deeper and more formal processes to correspond with our growth.
2023 also saw us recruit more strong colleagues, including bringing the size of our Nigerian operation to four people and our Kenyan operation to fourteen people. We made 12 investments this year, focusing on building the strongest companies in our current portfolio and adding two new companies. We see several champions that are leading the way in impact, growth and financial performance, including:
- Candi, our C&I company in South Africa and India has achieved a contracted base of nearly 100 Million Wp;
- Beacon Power Services, our energy efficiency company in Nigeria, has continued to grow revenue and offer new products and services successfully expanding to Ghana;
- Hohm, our South African aggregator of residential solar development and financing, has grown strongly and continued to react to the ever-changing and evolving load-shedding situation in South Africa; and
- Altech, our residential solar, clean cooking and e-mobility company in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, has significantly increased revenue and EBITDA this year.
2023 also saw us broaden our investment focus. Our work since 2012 has focused on renewable energy and energy access, starting with PayGo solar, then commercial and industrial solar (C&I), e-mobility and later energy efficiency. In 2023, we began analyzing potential investing in the “Resource Transition” and the “Agricultural Transition”. This work will lead us to make initial investments in 2024 in both areas. Of particular interest to us in the Resource Transition space is waste recycling, particularly electronics recycling and cold chain storage solutions in the Agricultural Transition space. But of course, the two areas overlap. For example, the creation and use of biochar for carbon storage and black soldier flies for animal food and fertilizer tick both boxes.
Additionally, In 2023, we continued to broaden our impact, including improving over 6.5 million African lives, powering over 800 thousand households, and avoiding over 1.6 million tons of CO2 through our portfolio companies. Those companies also created 21,000 jobs. We are looking forward to making even more impactful strides in 2024.
Looking ahead to 2024, all eyes are on the Persistent Africa Climate Venture Builder Fund. Our goal is to raise a total of $100 million. As a result, we are already beginning to fill our pipeline with opportunities for the Fund to invest in as soon as we close.
To all of our shareholders, stakeholders, family, friends and colleagues, we wish you and your loved ones a happy and healthy holiday season and a prosperous New Year.
The Persistent Team