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Tackling the irrigation gap with solar power: EEGF participates in mezzanine loan for SunCulture

Photo credits: SunCulture

[Brussels, 16 November 2022] The USD 10 million mezzanine loan contracted between SunCulture, EEGF, ARAF and EDFI ElectriFI will allow the company to expand activity in Kenya, Ivory Coast, and Uganda. 

One of the key challenges for smallholder farmers across sub-Saharan Africa is access to a reliable source of water. Founded in 2012, SunCulture designs, manufactures, finances, distributes, and services solar water pumping systems and irrigation equipment for smallholder farmers. By providing clean and reliable solar-powered solutions, SunCulture empowers smallholders to increase crop yields by 300% and reduce water usage by 80%, and become more resilient to climate change.

With this support from EDFI ElectriFI, EEGF, and ARAF, SunCulture is poised to scale operations in existing and new markets at a time when food security, poverty alleviation, and climate resilience solutions are urgently needed. We are grateful for this partnership that enables SunCulture to get productivity-enhancing tools into the hands of the most vulnerable smallholder farmers.Samir Ibrahim, Co-Founder and CEO at SunCulture.

By investing in SunCulture, EDFI ElectriFI is proud to encourage additional investments in such private projects that meet surging needs in terms of food security, smallholder productivity, and climate change mitigation. SunCulture’s demonstrated business model and proven product excellence are paving the way for efficient and clean irrigation of underserved markets in East Africa and beyond.Liesbet Mijlemans, ElectriFI Senior Investment Officer at EDFI Management Company

As an existing shareholder of SunCulture, ARAF’s participation in this financing round reflects our strong belief in the ability of the team to continue growing the business. Our investment in SunCulture speaks loudly to our commitment to support innovative business models that help smallholder farmers adapt to climate change. Tamer El-Raghy, Managing Director, Acumen Resilient Agriculture Fund (ARAF)

We are very honored and excited to support SunCulture financially and operationally in its mission to become a leading example of the productive use segment of renewable power generation in Africa. SunCulture is a pioneer and market shaper in solar irrigation for smallholder farmers, directly and positively influencing farming output, food variety and security, and supporting livelihoods across the continent.” Jan-Henrik Kuhlmann, Head of Direct Investments, Triple Jump (on behalf of EEGF).

About SunCulture

SunCulture is a climate-smart agriculture company for smallholder farmers. SunCulture designs, manufactures, finances, and services IoT-enabled solar energy systems and irrigation equipment, and is the market leader in solar water pumping solutions for smallholder farmers in Africa. SunCulture’s mission is to enable smallholder farmers in emerging markets to improve productivity and income, enhance resilience, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. https://sunculture.com/

About Acumen Resilient Agriculture Fund

The Acumen Resilient Agriculture Fund (ARAF) is an impact VC fund and the world’s first equity fund designed to build the climate resilience of smallholder farmers in Africa. ARAF invests in agri-startups in East and West Africa with business models that help smallholder farmers adapt to climate change. Since its first investment in 2020, ARAF has invested in eight companies and impacted more than 500,000 farmers. For more info, visit https://arafund.com/.

About Energy Entrepreneurs Growth Fund

The Energy Entrepreneurs Growth Fund (EEGF) was created in 2019 by Shell Foundation and FMO to make a critical contribution to the access to energy sector whilst addressing climate change. Managed by Triple Jump and advised by Persistent, EEGF provides tailored mezzanine, equity, and debt investments combined with technical assistance for early and growth-stage companies active in the access to energy sector in sub-Saharan Africa.

About EDFI ElectriFI

EDFI ElectriFI is an EU-funded impact investment facility, financing early-stage private companies and projects, focusing on new/improved electricity connections as well as on generation capacity from sustainable energy sources in emerging markets. EDFI ElectriFI is managed by the EDFI Management Company, a company established by the 15 European Development Finance Institutions (DFIs). https://www.electrifi.eu/ 

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