SDGs | September 27, 2021

Zola Electric raises $90 million to expand off-grid energy access

Roodgally Senatus
ImpactAlpha Editor

Roodgally Senatus

ImpactAlpha, September 27 — Amsterdam-based Zola Electric launched in 2011 as Off Grid Electric to connect millions of energy-poor households to low-cost, renewable power. Last year, it secured an $8 million partnership with Distributed Power Africa (for context, see “Zola Electric scores $8 million partnership for solar mini-grids in Africa).

Zola’s products are used by more than 1.5 million people and over 300,000 homes and businesses in the Ivory Coast, Ghana, Namibia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Africa, Zambia and Nigeria.

The company is targeting the more than 2.2 billion people and hundreds of millions of businesses globally without access to reliable and affordable electricity, according to CEO Bill Lenihan.

Zola’s power systems integrate often-unreliable grid electricity with solar, batteries and even diesel to offer service-level agreements to residential and business customers. 

Growth capital

SunFunder and FMO invested $45 million in debt capital; an equal amount of equity capital was committed by DBL Partners, TotalEnergies Ventures, Helios Investment Partners, Vulcan Capital, Electron Capital Partners, and Lyndon and Peter Rive, co-founders of Tesla-owned solar energy company SolarCity.

Zola has raised $155 million in equity and $45 million in debt funding to date.