Cambridge UK solar technology pioneer Azuri Technologies is expanding its reach across Africa after accumulating $16 million of financial muscle. Still headquartered in Cambridge, UK; Azuri also has staff based in Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Tanzania.
The commercial off-grid solar business has just reached 100,000 sales of its PayGo home systems in sub Saharan Africa. Since entering the market in 2011, Azuri has provided access to affordable clean energy for off-grid communities across 12 counties. The company negotiated a $5m debt facility with Standard Chartered Bank in February – three months after completing an $11m equity-funding round to support its sustainable growth across Africa.
The finance will underpin Azuri’s expansion in existing markets and growth in new ones; this includes the programme announced in January to provide power to 20,000 households in Nigeria.
Azuri’s technology delivers lighting, phone charging, radio and TV access via affordable packages paid for through mobile money. The product suite includes the first PayGo satellite TV package targeting households without electricity – launched in Kenya in December – and solar lighting systems that ensure households have light all night, even following cloudy weather.
Azuri chief executive Simon Bransfield-Garth said: “The milestone of 100,000 systems sold marks the next phase of Azuri’s journey. Coupled with the recently completed funding announcements we look forward to continuing to grow our presence and serve the millions of customers who still lack access to modern electrical services.”