Nuru, an EDFI ElectriFI Investee, Closes over $40m of Equity to Drive Metrogrid Scaling in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Nuru, one of Africa’s pioneering renewable energy-powered metrogrid companies, has announced the successful close of $40m in Series B funding. The funds will enable Nuru to commence construction on projects which will, once completed, significantly expand its existing operating assets in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and help bridge the enormous energy gap in the country.
Nuru’s Series A was led by E3 Capital (formerly Energy Access Ventures) in 2018 together with EDFI ElectriFI, the EU-funded Electrification Financing Initiative, managed by EDFI Management Company. Their investment was catalytic in building Nuru’s current operating metrogrid portfolio in the cities of Goma, Beni, and around the Garamba protected area in the cities of Faradje and Tadu.
The $40m in funds come from market-leading equity investors including Voltalia, E3 Capital, Proparco, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP), the Renewable Energy Performance Platform (REPP), the Schmidt Family Foundation, Gaia Impact Fund, and the Joseph Family Foundation.
The Ambassador of the European Union to the DR Congo stated: “The European Union congratulates and encourages Nuru’s ongoing work in electrifying eastern Congo. From the dynamic city of Goma to the isolated towns of Faradje and Tadu, which were electrified for the first time, Nuru has created dozens of jobs, boosted the local economy, and improved the living conditions of hundreds of thousands of Congolese. Fortified by an initial investment from the European Union in 2018, through its ElectriFI financing tool, Nuru is expanding and looking forward to major achievements thanks to this new round of financing.”
Jonathan Shaw, co-founder, and CEO of Nuru said: “We are thrilled to partner with such a dynamic group of investors who are keen to drive our vision of expanding energy access and transforming 5 million lives in the DRC. Closing the Series B is a significant milestone in Nuru’s journey, but also demonstrates the viability of the metrogrid model in the distributed energy sector in Africa. Nuru extends its heartfelt appreciation to the consortium of investors for their visionary support and unwavering commitment to Nuru’s vision. Together, we will continue to illuminate lives, drive economic growth, and empower communities across the DRC.”
Less than 20% of the DRC’s population has access to energy, and with a rising energy demand projected for the future, Nuru’s innovative approach to renewable energy access unlocks the immense market potential across the country. The company’s utility-scale solar metrogrids, integrated with cutting-edge technology and services, are designed to provide 24/7 reliable and renewable energy to DRC’s urban communities, fostering climate resilience and sustainable development.
Following the Series B close, Nuru will begin work immediately on three transformational projects in Goma, Kindu, and Bunia, which will have a combined capacity of 13.7 MWp. The Bunia site will become the largest off-grid solar hybrid metrogrid in sub-Saharan Africa.
Nuru, meaning “light” in Swahili, seeks to provide energy that unlocks the incredible human potential in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. By delivering world-class renewable energy and connectivity services, Nuru aims to empower 5 million Congolese people, one connection at a time. Headquartered in Goma, Nuru has been at the forefront of transforming DRC’s energy landscape since it began in 2015.
EDFI ElectriFI, the Electrification Financing Initiative, is a EUR 300 million+ impact investment facility funded mostly by the European Union and managed by EDFI Management Company SA., a company established by the 15 European Development Finance Institutions (DFIs).
EDFI ElectriFI provides financing to projects which create new or improved electricity connections as well as on generation capacity from sustainable energy sources in emerging markets. Typical business models financed include mini-grids, solar home systems, independent power projects and captive power production. EDFI ElectriFI also invests in enterprises active in energy efficiency or energy savings including a cleaner production mix.
EDFI ElectriFI funding is available to small-scale companies which show credible professional track-record, strong commitment to impact and high business integrity standards, and alignment of interest. Each investment must be financially viable with a clear path to profitability.