Simusolar secures USD 1.5m convertible note from EDFI ElectriFI to meet the needs of rural smallholders and fishermen in Tanzania
EDFI ElectriFI invested a total of ~EUR 1.26m to support Simusolar in providing solar-powered water pumps and fishing lights as well as financing mechanisms aimed at enhancing agricultural productivity in rural East Africa.
Simusolar, the leading productivity-enhancing agricultural equipment provider in East Africa, contracted USD 1.5m with EDFI ElectriFI, the EU-funded Electrification Financing Initiative, with the facilitation services from the European programme GET.invest. The financing will contribute to the strengthening of its operations in Tanzania and the development of new products categories.
“From the start, Simusolar has been customer-driven, developing an offering for farmers, fishers, and rural businesses from the ground up. That is what led us to specialize on income-generating systems and a full-service approach, neither of which is available in the market. In EDFI ElectriFI we have found a mission-aligned partner who shares our vision of increasing rural incomes through productive use solutions and services,” explains Marianne Walpert, co-CEO at Simusolar.
With more than half of the 56 million Tanzanians being considered as part of the agriculture workforce, the agriculture sector is a major driver for the economy and societal evolution. Representing 30% of the country’s GDP, the sector is being re-directed towards a more sustainable and productive pathway. The government is namely giving high priority to irrigation development as part of its national policy frameworks. The irrigation market was estimated at USD 86m in 2019 and is expected to grow. Given that only 3% of farmers currently have access to irrigation technology and most of them still use diesel pumps, Simusolar’s green solutions will definitely contribute to enhance sustainable agriculture across the country.
Simusolar diverse mix of productive equipment solutions and services are adapted to the farmers’ needs, improving their efficiency and therefore increasing their revenues. The company’s high long-term impact is illustrated by its influence on farming productivity and sustainable fishing methods. Solar water pumps replace diesel pumps and enable better irrigation systems, allowing farmers to increase yields, farm year round, and in some cases increase the area irrigated (60 Decibel study). The fishing lights used by fishermen around Lake Victoria replace the use of kerosene lanterns and contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
The company is expected to reach 27,640 beneficiaries by 2023 and to contribute to the avoidance of 27,294 tCO2.
EDFI ElectriFI joins Chroma Impact Investment, Acumen Fund, and Impact Capital in supporting Simusolar’s vision of rural productivity and climate change resilience.
“We are very proud to support such a dynamic and innovative organisation in East Africa. The work done by Simusolar in the last years pioneering solar-powered productive use technologies is remarkable and we are very pleased to be part of this journey and to contribute to the company’s continued success. Simusolar should also be proud to qualify for the “2X Challenge: Investing in Women” for Entrepreneurship and Employment as it is by majority founded by and led by women,” concluded Gemma Verhoeven, ElectriFI manager at EDFI Management Company.