Gaia’s investee Nuru closes over $40m of equity funding to drive metrogrid scaling in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo, 3 July 2023 – Nuru, one of Africa’s pioneering renewable energy-powered metrogrid companies, has announced the successful close of over $40m in Series B equity funding and anticipates the close of an additional $28m in project finance by the end of the month. The funds will enable Nuru to commence construction on 13.7 MWp of projects, which will significantly expand its existing operating assets in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and help bridge the enormous energy gap in the country.
Less than 20% of the DRC’s population has access to energy, and with a rising energy demand projected for the future, Nuru’s innovative approach to renewable energy access unlocks the immense market potential across the country. The company’s utility-scale solar metrogrids, integrated with cutting-edge technology and services, are designed to provide 24/7 reliable and renewable energy to DRC’s urban communities, fostering climate resilience and sustainable development.
The $40m in funds come from market-leading equity investors including the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP), the Renewable Energy Performance Platform (REPP), Proparco, E3 Capital, Voltalia, the Schmidt Family Foundation, GAIA Impact Fund, and the Joseph Family Foundation. Additionally, IFC’s equity investment includes financing from the Finland-IFC Blended Finance for Climate Program.
Jonathan Shaw, co-founder and CEO of Nuru, said: “We are thrilled to partner with such a dynamic group of investors who are keen to drive our vision of expanding energy access and transforming 5 million lives in the DRC. Closing the Series B is a significant milestone in Nuru’s journey, but also demonstrates the viability of the metrogrid model in the distributed energy sector in Africa. Nuru extends its heartfelt appreciation to the consortium of investors for their visionary support and unwavering commitment to Nuru’s vision. Together, we will continue to illuminate lives, drive economic growth, and empower communities across the DRC.”
Following the Series B close, Nuru will begin work immediately on three transformational projects in Goma, Kindu, and Bunia, which will have a combined capacity of 13.7 MWp. The Bunia site will become the largest off-grid solar hybrid metrogrid in sub-Saharan Africa.
Nuru’s Series A was led by E3 Capital (formerly Energy Access Ventures) in 2018 together with EDFI ElectriFI, the EU-funded Electrification Financing Initiative, managed by EDFI Management Company. Their investment was catalytic in building Nuru’s current operating metrogrid portfolio in the cities of Goma, Beni, Tadu, and Faradje.
Today’s announcement comes after initial investments in March from REPP, Proparco, and E3 Capital bridged a financing gap to bolster the Series B equity fundraise. REPP, which is funded by the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and managed by Camco, Proparco, which is the private sector financing arm of Agence Française de Développement Group (AFD), and E3 Capital, which is a leading investor in low-carbon early-stage companies, each committed $500,000 in a convertible note round earlier in the year.
AltRaise acted as exclusive financial advisor to Nuru on both the Series B transaction and accompanying project finance.