SolarX, a Mali-based solar company, raises Series A funding led by Aster’s early-stage African fund, Energy Access Ventures (EAV),  which invests in and supports decentralized energy companies across sub-Saharan Africa.

SolarX focuses on West Africa, a region where electricity access remains expensive and unreliable for many commercial and industrial (C&I) businesses. This presents a significant opportunity for solar energy given the region’s vast solar radiation coverage. SolarX unlocks this opportunity by offering a one-stop shop solution for clean energy services – providing reliable and affordable energy which allows end-users to operate more efficiently in challenging environments. With this financing, SolarX will focus on developing and operating projects in Mali, Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast.

As energy generation in our target market comes from costly, difficult-to-get and volatile fossil fuels, most C&I clients are looking for cheaper, more reliable and cleaner energy. Despite the market demand, attracting financial partners had been a challenge before engaging with EAV. The EAV team has been instrumental in supporting us to set up the company, define the right business model, put together operational structures and develop connections with relevant partners prior to their investment. We are eager to lead the way in growing the renewable energy sector in West Africa.

Founder & CEO of SolarX

We are proud to continue to foster the development of C&I solar, investing in experienced local teams and innovative business models across underserved, frontier markets in Sub-Saharan Africa. With decades of combined operating experience in Mali, the SolarX team has the right expertise and execution capabilities to create a leading regional franchise with an appropriate and comprehensive C&I offering.

Principal at EAV

As a champion of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, CDC is committed to supporting innovative companies that are working to increase access to affordable and clean energy in Africa. SolarX is providing a much-needed solution for C&I companies and is well-positioned to ignite the renewable energy sector, which remains a critical pillar for development on the continent. We are excited to see the EAV team enter frontier markets and we’re pleased by their support of SolarX as they grow in Mali, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso and beyond.

Investment Manager at CDC Group

About SolarX

SolarX is a renewable energy company focused on providing reliable, clean and affordable energy solutions to commercial and industrial clients in West Africa. By offering a one-stop shop for commercial clients, the company provides easy access to financing and energy efficiency services, while allowing the companies to focus on their core business and operate on environmentally friendly and cost-efficient energy sources.

The company was founded by Omnium Invest’s management team, who have been operational in Mali for the past 20 years and have experienced similar pain points given their nature of business. Their focus on the manufacturing sector opened their eyes to the need for cheaper, reliable and efficient energy sources.

About Energy Access Ventures

Energy Access Ventures (EAV) is a leading early-stage investment fund in Africa. With over 40 years of investment experience in Africa, EAV is uniquely positioned to take advantage of the emerging smart, distributed, cost-effective infrastructure market segment. EAV has established a reputation as a hands-on investor that works closely with its portfolio companies to capitalize on the significant opportunity in sub-Saharan Africa. EAV’s first fund (“EAV I”) was raised in February 2015 and is €75,000,000 in size with nine investment professionals. The fund is sponsored by the leading French multinational Schneider Electric and is managed by Aster Capital in Paris. Its investors are CDC Group (U.K.), managing funds for the U.K. Department for International Development (DFID), the European Investment Bank, the Fonds d’Investissement et de Soutien aux Entreprises en Afrique (FISEA) held by Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and managed by Proparco, the Fonds Français pour l’Environnement Mondial (FFEM), administered by AFD, Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden (FMO), the Netherlands Development Finance Company, and OPEC.

About CDC Group

CDC Group is the U.K’s first impact investor with over 70 years of experience of successfully supporting the sustainable, long-term growth of businesses in South Asia and Africa. CDC is a leading player in the fight against climate change and a U.K. champion of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals – the global blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for us all. The company has investments in over 1,200 businesses in emerging economies and a total portfolio value of £5.8bn. This year CDC will invest over $1.5bn in companies in Africa and Asia with a focus on fighting climate change, empowering women and creating new jobs and opportunities for millions of people. CDC is funded by the U.K government and all proceeds from its investments are reinvested to improve the lives of millions of people in Africa and South Asia. CDC’s expertise makes it the perfect partner for private investors looking to devote capital to making a measurable environmental and social impact in countries most in need of investment.