7 December 2020, NAIROBI, KENYA — ARE Member SunCulture, a Kenya-based technology company and leader in solar power systems, water pumps, and irrigation systems for smallholder farmers, closed a Series A investment round of USD 14 million. ARE Member Energy Access Ventures (EAV) led the round and was joined by Électricité de France (EDF), Acumen Capital Partners (ACP), and Dream Project Incubators (DPI). EAV is furthering its investment after having participated in SunCulture’s 2017 seed round, while EDF has supported SunCulture since 2018 both as an investor and as a business development partner, primarily in West Africa where EDF is a leading player in off-grid solar systems.
SunCulture offers comprehensive solutions tailored to smallholder farmers, combining market-leading technology with Pay-As-You-Grow (PAYG) financing and value-add services. As the first company to commercialize solar-powered irrigation in Africa, SunCulture currently reaches customers across Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Zambia, Senegal, Togo, and Cote D’Ivoire. With these funds, SunCulture is in a position to accelerate direct sales in Kenya, continue to expand internationally, and fund existing product improvements and new product innovation.
In Africa, 80% of families depend on agriculture for their livelihoods, but just 4% use irrigation, while the remainder of households rely on increasingly unpredictable rainfall. This challenge is compounded by the reality that over half the population in sub-Saharan Africa lacks access to a reliable and affordable source of energy. SunCulture’s systems enable customers to increase their agricultural productivity while accessing a steady supply of water and clean energy for household use. Farmers can grow their incomes 5-10x through increasing yields, growing higher-value cash crops, cultivating more of their land, and raising more livestock.
Samir Ibrahim, SunCulture’s CEO and Co-Founder, underscores the urgency and impact of addressing affordability in a bid to eradicate food insecurity across the continent, “Now more than ever, scaling access to clean energy and water is critical for food security, smallholder farmer livelihoods, and climate resilience. This is essential to the wellbeing of rural households, as well as farmers’ ability to support themselves in uncertain times. This equity raise puts us in a position to dramatically accelerate our growth and international expansion. We’re thrilled to work with this phenomenal coalition of investors, who have a deep understanding of our business and share our commitment to reaching underserved communities.”
Ekta Partners acted as the exclusive financial advisor for this transaction. CrossBoundary provided additional advisory support, including an analysis on the market opportunity and competitive landscape, under the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Kenya Investment Mechanism Program.
Samir Ibrahim, SunCulture’s CEO and Co-Founder, is available for interviews.
SunCulture press contact: Mikayla Czajkowski, email@example.com