Marubeni Corporation has lead a US$26 million investment in Azuri Technologies, the technology firm that provides pay-as-you-go solar home solutions to off-grid homes in Africa. Besides the Fortune Global 500 company’s hand (Marubeni), FTSE 250 company IP Group Inc. contributed to the investment.
Azuri says the fund will be key to its expansion plans, which will target both East and West Africa as new frontiers for business opportunities. At the moment, the firm provides solar home systems to off-grid households in Sub-Saharan Africa on a pay-as-you-go basis.
Marubeni, a Japanese corporation, has invested in several businesses across the globe, and has reported a notable interest in Africa. Through its input, Azuri will accelerate its expansion strategy, which will also include TV and additional services into new markets.
“We are delighted today to announce the equity investment by Marubeni Corporation and existing shareholders. The entry of a leading player in the international energy market into this sector demonstrates the increasing maturity of off-grid power and its role in serving the 600 million people in Africa that still lack access to electricity,” said Simon Bransfield-Garth, CEO of Azuri Technologies.
“We believe that Azuri’s unique business model will have a profound impact on the growing
off-grid energy market in Africa,” said Yoshiaki Yokota, Chief Operating Officer, Power Business Division at Marubeni Corporation.
“As an early investor in Azuri, we are pleased with its growth to date, with over 150,000 systems sold, positively impacting off-grid households in Africa. Today we are delighted to welcome Marubeni to the business to help power the next exciting phase of growth for Azuri,” says Jamie Vollbracht, Partner at IP Group.
Azuri started offering its services in the continent some time in 2012. So far, it has served several homes sub-Saharan Africa. It has offices in Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.