Nigerian energy company Rensource has completed a $20m equity financing round which will be used to expand the company’s footprint of micro-utilities across Nigeria, as well as invest in additional technology infrastructure.
The round was co-led by existing investors CRE Venture Capital and the Omidyar Network, with participation from Inspired Evolution, Proparco, EDPR, I&P, Sin Capital, and Yuzura Honda.
Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, only has 12 GW of installed grid capacity, with just one-in-four Nigerians connected to the national power grid. In contrast, South Africa has 50 GW.
Rensource launched commercially in 2016 to address this problem. Founded by Ademola Adesina and Jussi Savukoski, it is trying to bridge Nigeria’s power deficit through the delivery of renewable based decentralized energy, focusing primarily on SMEs.
Operating in seven clusters across the six states of Lagos, Kano, Ogun, Ondo, Oyo and Edo, the company builds and operates solar hybrid micro-utilities.
With the financing secured, Rensource is now expanding its offering beyond energy and entering Nigeria’s nascent offline to online (O2O) space, by offering technology-enabled services to SMEs in the marketplaces it provides power for. With the launch of this new B2B platform, ‘Spaces O2O’, merchants will be able to access services that accelerate their productivity growth.
Rensource founder Ademola Adesina said: “We believe that simultaneously greening and decentralizing its power infrastructure is the only way to navigate Nigeria out of its current state of energy poverty. Pursuing this with a focus on the millions of small-businesses that drive our economy creates a massive multiplier effect whose benefit accrues to all.”
He added that the push into O2O “is a natural step that leverages our existing infrastructure to further empower the merchants we serve. We aim to bring connect over one-million merchants in the next five years.”