Nigerian Renewable Energy Firm Raises $20M To Expand Its Utilities Across Nigeria

Written by Peter Pedroncelli
renewable energy firm
Nigerian renewable energy startup Rensource builds and operates solar-powered micro-utilities that provide electricity for markets and commercial hubs. An outdoor market in Nigeria powered by a Rensource micro-utility. Image supplied by Rensource

Nigerian renewable energy startup Rensource has raised a $20 million Series A round co-led by Omidyar Network and CRE Venture Capital.

The renewable energy company builds and operates solar-powered micro-utilities that provide electricity for commercial community structures, such as outdoor markets and commercial hubs, according to a press release sent to Moguldom.

Lagos-based Rensource was founded in 2015 by CEO Ademola Adesina and Jussi Savukoski to address the lack of electricity in Nigeria, especially for businesses.

Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country but generates fewer gigawatt-hours of electricity annually than the U.S. state of Connecticut, Techcrunch reports. 

Nigerian businesses and households often rely on noisy, expensive and polluting generators diesel and petrol generators for their electricity needs. 

The International Monetary Fund estimates that Nigeria’s economy loses $29 billion annually due to the country’s unreliable electricity supply. 

Around 45 percent of the Nigerian population is on the national power grid — around 20 million households do not have access to power.

Lead investor Omidyar Network is a Silicon Valley-based impact investment firm established by Pierre Omidyar, the founder of eBay.

Omidyar Network has previously invested in Africa-focused renewable energy firms including Silicon Valley-based D.Light Solar and Tanzanian solar lighting service Off-Grid Electric.

Rensource operates in seven Nigerian states, generating revenue from charging merchants daily, weekly or monthly fees, Afrik21 reports.

The $20 million investment will be used to expand Rensource’s off-grid energy offering to more states in Nigeria.

The investment is also expected to enable the renewable energy firm to provide business-to-business services through a new mobile app, Techcrunch reports.

Through the app, Rensource plans to offer supply-chain services such as insurance and working capital loans to small businesses.

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The funding round was co-led by Omidyar Network and Pan-African venture firm CRE Venture Capital.

CRE Venture Capital was famously involved in a $40 million funding round into Andela in 2017. Co-founded by Pule Taukobong and Pardon Makumbe, CRE is based in Johannesburg and registered in the U.S. 

Other participating investors in Rensource’s Series A funding round included Cape Town-based renewable energy-focused investment management firm Inspired Evolution, French Development Agency subsidiary Proparco, and Madrid-based renewable energy firm EDP Renov├íveis.