The pan-African company Baobab+ has just raised €10 million from Norfund to finance electrification and digitalization in several African countries. This fundraising will allow the company to develop its markets and expand its network.
Baobab+ obtains funds to expand its network in sub-Saharan Africa. The company led by Alexandre Coster has secured 10 million euros from the Norwegian fund Norfund as part of a fundraising.
The sum will allow Baobab+ to expand its activities in the southern part of Africa with the main objective of serving one million households over the next five years. The funding will also facilitate the company’s development in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Nigeria. The targeted areas are those with little or no access to electricity and digital technology.
Already present in four countries, Mali, Ivory Coast, Senegal and Madagascar, Baobab+ has equipped 220,000 households and served more than 1,200,000 beneficiaries over the past five years. Despite the Covid-19 crisis, as of August 2021, Baobab+ has experienced sustained annual growth of 60% in its business. This has supported the decision of donor Norfund to invest €10 million in equity in the leading distributor of solar home systems in West Africa and Madagascar.
Baobab+ offers two complementary services: access to electricity and digital technology through the distribution of solar energy, as well as Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) payment support from smartphones. The company is the first to offer this type of payment facility for smartphones in West Africa and Madagascar. To achieve this, the company is supported by its parent company, the Baobab microfinance group, a major player in access to financial inclusion in Africa, in partnership with the Samsung group for the installation of a remote digital system to secure the services offered and with various startups located in the localities where the company is established. “Africa will experience an unprecedented demographic explosion in the next ten years. (…) Baobab+ wants to take part in this future revolution, by electrifying and digitizing the rural world in Africa,” says Alexandre Costner. Investment in solar energy close to the needs of the population is growing rapidly. Moreover, the results of Baobab+ seem to confirm this.