Simusolar, a Tanzania-based cleantech startup has received a total of EUR 1.26m from EDFI ElectriFI, the EU-funded Electrification Financing Initiative, with the facilitation services from the European program GET.invest.
Together with EDFI ElectriFI, other investors like Chroma Impact Investment, Acumen Fund, and Impact Capital joined in supporting Simusolar’s goal of rural productivity and climate change resilience and adaptation.
The new funds will be used to develop new products and strengthen the startup’s operations in Tanzania, allowing it to reach 27,640 beneficiaries by 2023
A leading provider of solar-powered water pumps and fishing lights in rural East Africa, Simusolar aims to build products that have a direct and significant impact on productivity.
The startup focuses on creating clean-energy-powered equipment for off-grid communities and making these products affordable to smallholder agribusinesses.
In Tanzania, the agriculture sector, which represents 30% of the country’s GDP, is a major driver for the economy and societal evolution.
As such, the sector is being re-directed towards a more sustainable and productive pathway where over half of the 56 million Tanzanians make up the workforce.
Given that only 3% of farmers currently have access to irrigation technology and most of them still use diesel pumps, Simusolar’s green solutions will contribute to enhancing sustainable agriculture across the country.
Simusolar’s diverse mix of productive equipment solutions and services are adapted to the farmers’ needs, improving their efficiency and therefore increasing their revenues.
Solar water pumps replace diesel pumps and enable better irrigation systems, allowing farmers to increase yields, farm year-round, and in some cases increase the area irrigated.
The fishing lights used by fishermen around Lake Victoria replace the use of kerosene lanterns and contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. With its eco-friendly products, the company will contribute to the avoidance of 27,294 tons of carbon emissions.
According to Marianne Walpert, co-CEO at Simusolar, the startup has been customer-driven, developing an offering for farmers, fishers, and rural businesses from the ground up.
“That is what led us to specialize on income-generating systems and a full-service approach, neither of which is available in the market.
In EDFI ElectriFI we have found a mission-aligned partner who shares our vision of increasing rural incomes through productive use solutions and services”, she explained.
In the same vein, ElectriFI manager, Gemma Verhoeven said, “We are very proud to support such a dynamic and innovative organization in East Africa.
The work done by Simusolar in the last years pioneering solar-powered productive use technologies is remarkable and we are very pleased to be part of this journey and to contribute to the company’s continued success.
Simusolar should also be proud to qualify for the “2X Challenge: Investing in Women” for Entrepreneurship and Employment as it is by majority founded by and led by women”, she added.