The $2m debt facility will allow SolarWorks! to directly impact 65,000 people with improved energy access while displacing at least 26 tonnes of CO2 emissions. It also took an innovative multi-currency approach through SunFunder’s partnership with US-based currency hedging company MFX Solutions.
Avi Jacobson, Senior Investment Officer, who led the transaction for SunFunder, said that:
“Based on their performance, strong management, and impressive group of investors, we see that SolarWorks! is a company with the potential to scale up while improving the lives of tens of thousands of Mozambican families in the coming years. For SunFunder, this transaction aligns with our position as a preferred long-term finance partner for off-grid solar companies in Africa.”
Mozambique has an electrification rate of less than 30% and limited availability of debt capital to support off-grid solar solutions. SolarWorks! will use the debt facility primarily for working capital to accelerate their growth in Mozambique. This will hopefully be the start of a long-term financing relationship to increase energy access in the country.
Arnoud de Vroomen, CEO and co-founder of SolarWorks!, commented:
“We are very proud to have closed this facility as we really appreciate SunFunder’s vision of aiming for long-term partnerships. The potential in our region is enormous so partners like SunFunder are of crucial importance in order to have large-scale impact on millions of people’s lives and at the same time deliver good financial returns for our finance partners.”
SolarWorks! began activity in Mozambique in 2011 and has recently expanded into Malawi. The company provides a basic solar home system comprising lights and charging ports that can power phones, radios and small appliances as well as more powerful systems that can support small businesses and middle income households with reliable power.
The investment was another example of SunFunder integrating MFX’s hedging services into their lending model to help customers manage their exposure to currency risk. It was a watershed moment for MFX too as their first Mozambican metical (MZN) transaction.
Brian Cox, CEO of MFX Solutions, commented:
“We are excited to be able to support this transaction which allows SolarWorks! to expand its vitally-needed solar services to households in Mozambique. With few options for local financing, renewable energy companies in frontier markets need to rely on external capital which can be risky if the local currency depreciates.”