Norfund is investing €10 million in equity in Baobab+, the leading distributor of solar home systems in Western Africa and Madagascar.
Baobab+, a panafrican group already present in Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Senegal and Madagascar, has equipped 220,000 households and served more than 1,200,000 beneficiaries in the past 5 years.
This funding will allow the company to strengthen its presence in its existing countries and deploy operations in Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Baobab+ aims to equip one million households with solar and digital products within 5 years.
Robust growth through the pandemic
The financing from Norfund comes at a time when Baobab+ has demonstrated its robustness despite the Covid-19 pandemic crisis: as of August 2021, Baobab+ had experienced sustained ≈ +60% yearly business growth.
For Baobab+, access to energy is also a springboard to enable every African household to take part in the digital revolution. In the countries where the company operates, Baobab+ has been a pioneer in launching a smartphone offer with flexible payment. In partnership with local start-ups, Baobab+ offers additional content that meets its customers’ needs, such as e-education, health or the management of small business activities. To date, Baobab+ has equipped more than 90,000 households with digital solutions.
Supporting financial inclusion
In addition, in partnership with its parent company, the Baobab microfinance group, a major player in access to financial inclusion in Africa, Baobab+ has developed a unique scoring framework that allows its Pay-As-You-Go clients to become eligible for a nano-credit, using their repayment history from the solar or digital product serving as their first credit experience. This proprietary solution, initially introduced in Senegal, will be gradually deployed in all countries.
Norfund is looking forward to supporting the company in bringing affordable solar energy to even more households and expanding into new markets through our first investment in the solar home system space in Francophone AfricaTellef Thorleifsson, CEO NOrfund