Persistent Energy has raised $10 million Series C funding to grow its clean-tech venture building business in Africa, in a round led by Kyuden International Corporation, a subsidiary of the Japanese Kyushu Electric Power Group, and Financial Sector Deepening (FSD) Africa Investments.
The equity round also saw the participation of six new private investors, high net worth individuals and businesspersons including Kotaro Tamura, as well as existing investors that include BK Ventures BV and DPI Energy Ventures Pte. Limited.
Persistent Energy, as an expert and investor in the renewable energy sector in Africa, helps startups to build businesses that can “scale sustainably” from the ideation to early growth stage. It does this by investing capital and human resources – where its team members join and work together with management teams of portfolio companies. Persistent has 20 partner companies spread across 17 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. The company has had two successful exits to date.
Commenting about the deal, Tobias Ruckstuhl, managing partner of Persistent, said in a statement that the company will use the resources to its growth in Sub-Saharan Africa in a quest to promote the adoption of clean energy options and technologies in the continent.
“Many more companies need to be started and built-in order to reach the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) within the next 10 years. Kyuden and FSDAi are committed to our entrepreneurial climate venture building model,” said Ruckstuhl.
“By leveraging these powerful partnerships, we will be able to accelerate our most pioneering venture building investments, driving the transition to clean energy, promoting e-mobility and finding innovative business models and technological developments across the continent,” he said.
The company also said it will use the new funding to strengthen its team.
Persistent portfolio companies either in solar home systems business, provide commercial and industrial solar solutions, deliver e-mobility solutions, or are into ecosystem building.
In Africa, these companies include Solar Works, which is a decade-old business which offers a wide range of solar products including Solar Homes Systems, its key offering that powers homes in Southern Africa. Solar Taxi, an e-mobility startup from Ghana, was also recently added to its list of portfolio companies. Solar taxi designs, assemble and distributes two-wheel and four-wheel vehicles that are used for transportation and delivery services.
Oolu, BBOX, Rensource, Upowa, Altech, Ecoenergy, Candi, ecobodaa, Asobo, and hohm energy, an ecosystem builder, are also part of its portfolio companies.