Zola Electric - former Off Grid Electric - has raised $32.5 million in debt funding. FMO and Symbiotics arranged the facility to "finance the growth of ZOLA’s Tanzania operations over the next 5 years".
The FMO-arranged senior loan will consist of $5 million from the Access to Energy Fund (AEF), which catalyses the investment of $12.5 million from FMO-A and $15 million from Symbiotics. The tenor of the loan is five years. ZOLA Electric borrows the money in its local currency, the Tanzanian shilling.
Before the current financing, FMO also provided Technical Assistance to ZOLA. But, the aim of that assistance was to put a credit scoring system in place.
This is the third round of funding that Zola Electric is announcing this year. In January, they raised a $55 million Series D from GE Ventures and Helios Investment Partners. In July, they also announced a $20 million debt facility from SunFunder.
"The investment is also expected to create around 2,100 new jobs in off-grid solar," according to Zola Electric
In total, the company has raised over $200 million in funding. Though the amount has come in a mixture of equity, debt and investment structures. This figure puts them among the most funded clean energy companies in Africa.
Zola Electric is hoping that this FMO round of funding will grow their service delivery in Tanzania to an more 145,500 households. The company currently powers more than 1,000,000 customers across 5 countries and employs more than 1,000 people.
Currently, ZOLA Electric serves over 180,000 homes and businesses across Nigeria, Tanzania, Rwanda, Côte d’Ivoire, and Ghana. The energy company is also a recipient of the UN Momentum for Change Award, the Zayed Future Energy Prize and is a member of the Global Cleantech 100.