Off Grid Electric has completed the largest venture capital funding for distributed energy in Africa, raising $25 million in a Series C investment round led by DBL Partners. Off Grid Electric, based in California and Tanzania, is installing solar in over 10,000 homes and businesses per month with its radically affordable solar leasing platform, making energy universally accessible to households earning as little as $1 per day. The company has signed a partnership with the government of Tanzania to power one million homes in the next three years and recently entered its second country, Rwanda.
DBL Partners Founder and Managing Partner, Nancy Pfund, will serve as Chairwoman of the Board. Nancy has been a longtime investor in and board member of SolarCity. The investment in Off Grid Electric is the firm’s first international investment, expanding DBL’s double bottom line investment approach overseas.
“We are in the midst of a solar revolution in Africa. The success of our pre-paid leasing model in Tanzania has global implications and demonstrates that universal energy access is achievable,” said Xavier Helgesen, co-founder and CEO of Off Grid Electric. “We are building a platform to power millions of homes and businesses in the coming years, and DBL is an incredible partner to help us achieve our vision. They have seen firsthand through their early investment in SolarCity how to build a market leader in solar leasing.”
“Off Grid Electric’s social and environmental mission combined with the discipline and drive inherent in its entrepreneurial culture makes it a perfect fit for DBL’s ‘double bottom line’ approach to business and social change,” said Nancy Pfund. “As our firm’s first investment in an international business, we are excited to bring the benefits of impact investing to people and families beyond the United States, and feel honored to join the Off-Grid Electric team.”
New investors also participating include Western Technology Investment and Helios Investment Partners founder Tope Lawani. The company received reinvestments from leading U.S. solar provider SolarCity, eBay founder Pierre Omidyar’s fund Omidyar Network, Serious Change LP and Vulcan Capital, the private investment firm of Microsoft co-Founder, Paul Allen.