Nigerian Solar Firm Arnergy Raises $9M From VC Fund Backed By Bill Gates, Jack Ma And Jeff Bezos

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Written by Peter Pedroncelli
Nigerian solar energy firm
Femi Adeyemo is the founder and CEO of Nigerian solar energy firm Arnergy. Photo – Arnergy

Yet another African solar energy solutions firm has raised capital for expansion as the challenge to light up Africa attracts opportunity and investment.

Arnergy, a Nigerian solar energy solutions firm, has raised $9 million in a Series A round earmarked for expansion, according to Pulse.

The funding round was led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures, a Paris-based investor-led energy fund that aims to help provide reliable and affordable power without contributing to climate change.

The fund is backed by investors including Bill Gates, Jack Ma, Jeff Bezos, John Doerr, and Vinod Khosla, according to CrunchBase.

Other funding participants include All On Energy, the Nigerian impact investor funded by oil company Shell; European Union-backed ElectriFI and the Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing Countries.

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Arnergy provides solar power to homes and businesses with a special focus on healthcare, hospitality, financial services, agribusiness and education, Weetracker reports. The company designs, sells and installs affordable and reliable distributed energy systems.

“Arnergy inherently understands the West African market and its need for power reliability,” said Carmichael Roberts of Breakthrough Energy Ventures in a prepared statement. “Creating accessibility to reliable renewable energy sources is paramount to economic growth in this region. With Arnergy’s technology, we can significantly decrease carbon emissions and it’s a model that can be replicated all over the developing world.”

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The Lagos-based firm was founded in 2014 by Femi Adeyemo and Kunle Odebunmi, according to Afrik21.

Arnergy expects to use the new funding to expand its service offering throughout Nigeria, especially through partnership opportunities with small businesses, the company states in a press release.

While $9 million is a significant investment, other African solar firms have raised more in 2019.

Earlier in June, U.K.-based pay-as-you-go solar firm Azuri Technologies raised $26 million from Japanese Fortune Global 500 firm Marubeni Corporation, Marketscreener reported.

Launched in 2012, Azuri delivers solar home systems based on smart technology to customers in 12 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. These allow families to watch TV and light up their homes.

In March, Ghanaian pay-as-you-go solar company Peg Africa raised a $25 million Series C funding round, according to Forbes. That investment brought its total funding to date to $47.5 million.

In April, Mauritius solar company Daystar Power received a $10 million investment from New York venture capital firm Persistent Energy Capital LLC and Nigeria’s Verod Capital Management, according to CNBC Africa.

Daystar is Arnergy’s competitor as it builds off-grid solar farms with batteries for energy storage, offering power solutions to commercial and industrial customers in Nigeria.