SolarWorks – a pay-as-you-go (PAYG) company with operations in Mozambique – has secured a $2 million debt facility from SunFunder and US-based MFX Solutions. "We are expanding into new markets, with our first transaction in Mozambique with SolarWorks!," wrote SunFunder.
According to SunFunder, the transaction "took an innovative multi-currency approach" through their partnership with US-based currency hedging company MFX Solutions, which was making its very first transaction in the country.
Mozambique, SunFunder wrote, "has an electrification rate of less than 30% and limited availability of debt capital to support off-grid solar solutions".
"SolarWorks! will use the debt facility primarily for working capital to accelerate their growth in Mozambique. We aim for this to be the start of a long-term financing relationship to increase energy access in the country".
According to the press release, the "$2m debt facility will allow them to directly impact 65,000 people with improved energy access while displacing at least 26 tonnes of CO2 emissions".
SolarWorks! began activity in Mozambique in 2011 and has recently expanded into Malawi. The company provides a primary solar home system comprising lights and charging ports that can power phones, radios and small appliances as well as more powerful systems that can support small businesses and middle-income households with reliable power.
In October last year, the solar company announced raising €2 million led EDP Renovaveis SA - with participation from Persistent Energy Partners - for expansion in Southern Africa. A year earlier, in May 2017, it was also among the recipients of the seed grant from GSMA under their Mobile for Development Utilities Innovation Fund. The award was to facilitate them to implement machine learning to improve solar home systems downtime
The investment was another example of SunFunder integrating MFX’s hedging services into their "lending model to help our customers manage their exposure to currency risk".
This debt facility to SolarWorks! is SunFunder's second for 2019 after it arranged a $9 million facility for Uganda-based SolarNow alongside co-lenders responsAbility and Oikocredit.
Last year, the solar-focused lender raised $25 million from Overseas Private Investment Corporation – OPIC. The investment was part of the commitment to its $100 million Solar Energy Transformation Fund. It also announced that it had secured an undisclosed amount from the Shell Foundation towards the same fund.