This week we made our first investment in Nigeria, part of a facility of up to $4m with commercial and industrial (C&I) solar developer, Daystar Power.
SunFunder’s debt financing for up to 3MW of C&I projects for clients including top tier financial institutions and other small and medium-sized enterprises will mitigate over 100,000 tons of CO2 emissions annually.
Daystar Power specialises in providing solar power and energy efficiency solutions for businesses in the commercial, industrial, and agricultural sectors that result in at least a 20% reduction in energy costs and 50% reduction in diesel consumption for end users.
Rim Azirar, who led the transaction for SunFunder, highlighted the scalability in both the structure of the loan and Daystar's business model:
“It is a project finance-like structure that can support the company’s strategy for rapid buildout in Nigeria, through their highly scalable business model.
The Daystar team offers its clients power solutions tailored to their operations and is impressively scaling the company’s reach by standardising deployment, both important factors in the emerging and often fragmented C&I solar sector in Africa.”
The company’s success combines a high value offering with cost minimisation through optimised system design, contracting and maintenance. Christian Wessels, co-founder and chairman of Daystar Power, commented:
“We are happy to partner with SunFunder in our mission to bring clean, continuous and affordable power to West African businesses in support of their growth and environmental goals. The support of SunFunder enables the beginning of a new phase of accelerated growth for our company.”
According to a recent study by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, Nigeria has the largest potential for C&I solar in Africa because of the scale of the opportunity for diesel replacement. Daystar is a pioneer in the market, offering end-users increased reliability as well as lower energy costs through solar and storage systems.
SunFunder and Daystar are also well aligned on gender parity. Both companies boast leadership teams comprising almost 50% women. Furthermore, SunFunder was co-founded by a woman and the chief executive of Daystar in Ghana is the youngest female Nigerian CEO in West Africa’s renewable energy sector. Daystar actively hires female engineers and managers and seeks to create an environment where women can drive development in Africa.
See also our Q&A with the deal team on structuring for scalability.