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Green Economy

Persistent Raises $10M Equity Round To Grow Climate Ventures In Africa

Persistent, Africa’s Climate Venture Builder that believes in the power of climate positive economic development in Africa and is one of the leading experts and pioneer investors in the renewable sector on the continent, recently announced it has raised a $10 million equity round led by Kyuden International and FSD Africa to grow climate venture building in Africa. Persistent has raised the $10M in equity in its Series C round. The raise will enable Persistent to continue to grow its successful climate venture building business in Africa.

The equity raise took the form of Series C Preferred Units of ownership in Persistent, giving Series C investors a seat on the Board of Directors. The largest investor of this Series C round, Kyuden International Corporation (“Kyuden”), is the overseas business arm of the Japanese Kyushu Electric Power Group. Kyuden has energy investment activities and consulting services across the world and shares with Persistent a strong commitment to renewable energy and building sustainable communities. Investing in Persistent represents a strategic move for Kyuden to expand its overseas business with an established partner in Africa, where the demand for clean power and electric mobility is growing dramatically. Persistent will benefit from the expertise, know-how, and network accumulated from domestic and overseas energy businesses of Kyuden around the globe.

This successful fundraise was also achieved thanks to the catalytic patient capital provided by Financial Sector Deepening Africa Investments Ltd. (“FSDAi”), the investment arm of the UK FCDO specialist development agency FSD Africa.  FSDAi’s mission is to build and strengthen financial markets across sub-Saharan Africa. Investing in Persistent’s climate venture building business furthers FSDAi’s objective of driving and supporting innovative models that can address market gaps and remove financing barriers to early-stage entrepreneurs. FSDAi’s capital met a critical milestone for closing the Series C round, enabling Persistent to broaden its investment scope, enter new markets and innovate new technologies while attracting further institutional investment in the future.

Persistent’s press release adds:

“We are especially grateful to our existing shareholders BK Ventures BV and DPI Energy Ventures Pte. Ltd. for their strong support and renewed investment in the Series C, and we are delighted to welcome six new private investors, high net worth angel investors and entrepreneurs from Asia and USA, including Mr. Kotaro Tamura, seed investor and adjunct professor at the LKY School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore. The equity round remains open until year-end to allow for few additional investors to join.

“We are also grateful to USAID/Power Africa, for advising this fundraising effort and helping Persistent attract institutional capital; and UK charity Shell Foundation for their continuous support through the process.”

Persistent now has 20 partner companies in 17 countries across Sub-Saharan Africa, supported by a team of 23 professionals. The capital raised in this Series C, the third on-balance sheet equity raise in the company’s history, will enable Persistent to strengthen the team across the continent and scale its climate venture building activities in Africa, potentially improving 2 million people’s lives, creating 6,000 jobs and avoiding 700,000 tCO2e.

The work that firms such as Persistent are doing is critical in the drive to catalyze the growth of the nascent electric mobility sector across the continent. Recently, Persistent invested in SolarTaxi to expand its work in the electric mobility space to West Africa. SolarTaxi designs, assembles, and distributes electric motorcycles & electric cars for transportation and delivery services in Ghana.

Persistent also recently published the very insightful “A Dozen Markets and Counting: The Opportunity For Two Wheel E-Mobility In Sub Saharan Africareport. In this report, Persistent focuses its analysis on motorcycles because they are the main means of transport in many countries across the continent and hence are a key source of youth employment. Across all vehicle categories, electric motorcycles are the ones that are closest to price parity when compared to their ICE counterparts. The report also says that motorcycles stand to have some of the highest economic and environmental benefit as three times more motorcycles are imported annually into Sub-Saharan Africa than cars.

All images courtesy of Persistent

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Remeredzai Joseph Kuhudzai has been fascinated with batteries since he was in primary school. As part of his High School Physics class he had to choose an elective course. He picked the renewable energy course and he has been hooked ever since. At university he continued to explore materials with applications in the energy space and ending up doing a PhD involving the study of radiation damage in High Temperature Gas Cooled Nuclear Reactors. He has since transitioned to work in the Solar and Storage industry and his love for batteries has driven him to obsess about electric vehicles.


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