Solar energy firm MyJouleBox secures US$1.8m funding from ElictriFi

BENINMyJouleBox, a French solar energy company, has signed a US$1.8 million funding contract with ElectriFi to provide Solar Home Systems (SHS) in the Republic of Benin and to hire 200 additional staff.

The company also wants to grow in Burkina Faso and Togo, as well as expand its position in the Beninese market.

EDFI ElectriFi is expected to inject 1.5 million euros (US$1.5 million) alongside other funders with the aim of creating 31,000 new connections offering a sustainable and reliable source of energy to 155,000 consumers.

Electrification Financing Initiative (ElectriFi) is a European Union initiative supporting investments in electrification. It has been an active investor in Africa’s renewable energy startup ecosystem.

ElectriFI is a flexible financial facility funded by the European Union and managed by the Association of European Development Finance Institutions.

It aims to support investments that increase and/or improve access to modern, affordable and sustainable energy services. The projects must lead to new and improved connections for populations living principally in rural, under-served areas as well as regions affected by unreliable power supply in developing countries.

ElectriFi was one of the investors in Arnergy, a Nigerian distributed utility firm, that raised US$9 million in a Series A round of investment in June 2019. Breakthrough Energy Ventures, the Norwegian Venture Fund for Developing Countries (Norfund), and All On all participated in the investment. In September 2019, ElectriFi, again, made a US$5 million loan investment in PEG Africa, a solar firm located in Ghana.

MyJouleBox was founded in 2016 by Léonide Michael Sinsin and Paul Berthomieu who met in school.

“The Benin-based firm has expanded at a rapid pace. It now employs 30 people and generates €500,000 in revenue. However, we were up against a significant obstacle,” Paul Berthomieu, co-founder of the firm, said.

“Our clients didn’t have enough money to pay for the installations entirely, so they chose to buy low-quality equipment that needed to be replaced every six months over our solutions, which come with a five-year warranty. To address the problem, we began allowing clients to pay in monthly installments in 2015.”

MyJouleBox has sold over 27,000 devices with a total installed capacity of over 1.3 MWp since its launch in 2016.

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