San Francisco, USA; New York, USA; and Nairobi, Kenya; October 2020 – The SIMA Angaza Distributor Finance Fund has anchored its investment portfolio with loans to three last-mile solar distributors: Altech Group of the Democratic Republic of Congo; Deevabits Green Energy of Kenya; and Easy Solar of Sierra Leone and Liberia. Each company has demonstrated strong sales growth while maintaining a quality pay-as-you-go lending portfolio despite the challenges presented by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Through these and future investments, the Fund will expand access to life-changing products for underserved consumers in developing markets.
The SIMA Angaza Distributor Finance Fund is a partnership between SIMA Funds, an experienced off-grid and last-mile lender, and Angaza, the leading technology provider for last-mile distribution. The Fund serves last-mile distributors (LMDs) like Altech, Deevabits, and Easy Solar that specialize in reaching hard-to-serve customers. Its debt facilities cover inventory expenses and include partial financial guarantees from product manufacturers like Greenlight Planet and Omnivoltaic.
The Fund’s mission is to solve one of the greatest challenges facing the last-mile distribution sector — limited access to capital. Investors who might otherwise support the sector are often discouraged by high transaction costs and the challenges of assessing pay-as-you-go portfolio quality. The Fund overcomes these issues by combining SIMA’s lending expertise with data analytics from the Angaza technology platform. The Fund’s data-driven approach simplifies sourcing and due diligence while surfacing unique insights into distributor performance. Angaza data also facilitates real-time monitoring, allowing the Fund to quickly identify opportunities for additional support.
In addition to its data-driven approach, the SIMA Angaza Distributor Finance Fund focuses on local entrepreneurs and applies a gender lens to its investment portfolio. The majority of funding in the off-grid sector has gone to large, vertically integrated companies led by Western founders, leaving local entrepreneurs and communities served by last-mile distributors behind. Likewise, women are most impacted by lack of access to clean energy solutions, yet the last-mile distribution sector often fails to integrate women’s experiences and expertise. The Fund seeks to support companies founded or led by either women or local entrepreneurs such as Altech, Deevabits, and Easy Solar, which each have at least one local or female founder.
In parallel with financing, the Fund also provides value-added services to portfolio companies in support of these objectives. Fund partner Power Africa provides tailored advisory support to select portfolio companies and assists with the development of strategies for advancing gender equity among employees and clients. 60 Decibels, also a Fund partner, is gathering gender-related end-user data for portfolio companies, which will complement gender data collected via Angaza.
The Fund is financed by the Shell Foundation (co-funded by the UK Government, USAID, and Power Africa), the Skoll Foundation, and Ceniarth.
If you are interested in investing in the SIMA Angaza Distributor Finance Fund and the portfolio companies it supports, fill out this form.