Startups

Zambian and Rwandan energy startups secure funding from impact investor

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Zambia’s WidEnergy and Rwanda’s Munyax Eco have secured funding from a female-focused funds platform – Opes-LCEF.

Opes-LCEF is an impact investor that helps new startups in emerging markets to scale and grow. The platform achieves this by providing early-stage social enterprises with catalytic capital.

Presently, Opes-LCEF has a portfolio of 17 investments across 11 countries. Seven of its portfolios operates in East Africa.

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Now, the platform has established the Restart East Africa Initiate – a programme aimed at addressing female underrepresentation in the renewable energy sector.

Restart East Africa Initiative is supported by other programmes like the DOEN Foundation and Good Energies Foundation.

The Initiative has now invested in two companies. And the funding is in the form of a zero per cent interest loan.

The two companies include Munyax Eco and Zambia’s WidEnergy.

Munyax Eco installs solar water heaters and has a portfolio of over 1,200 B2B and B2C clients. The firm also deals in solar street lights and photovoltaic off-grid systems.

Munyax Eco mentioned that the capital would help the company expand its product line, finance inventories, and work through the COVID-19 crisis in general.

On the other hand, WidEnergy utilizes a PAYG model to provide last-mile clean energy solutions.

The firm’s innovation allows off-grid households to access solar power.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, WidEnergy recorded a drop in sales last year. And the capital from Restart East Africa Initiate is aimed towards extending the firm’s distribution network.

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