Decarbonisation and greening public services, Infrastructure and the Built EnvironmentRensource’s solar micro-utilities are providing African SMEs with reliable power.
Decarbonisation and greening public services, Infrastructure and the Built Environment
- Founded in 2015
- Total funding and latest funding round: £20.3 million; Early Stage VC, £2.2 million
- Revenue band: £5-10 million
- Investors include: PROPARCO, CRE Venture Partners, TRINE, Amaya Capital Partners, Omidyar Network
- HQ in Lagos
- FTEs: 50-100
- Key clients/partners: Rural Electrification Agency (Nigeria)
- Key executives: Ademola Adesina, CEO and co-founder: 15+ years of experience in Investment Banking and Impact Investing.
Depending on who you ask, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are responsible for 67 to 80 percent of employment in sub-Saharan Africa. They have driven growth and created a fledgling middle class. And African SMEs would contribute even more but for binding constraints like unreliable energy supply. Irregular electricity results in increased operational costs, for example, as SMEs resort to diesel generators which are three to six times more expensive than grid power. Ultimately, power outages lower SME productivity and survival rates––hindering African growth.
Rensource Energy aims to ease this pain point for SMEs operating in open air markets. It offers mini grids that produce reliable power through a mix of solar energy and diesel (as a fail safe). Visiting a Rensource-powered market, one would see rooftops lined with solar panels, batteries in alleyways, smart metres in shop stalls, and Rensource agents collecting payments and carrying out maintenance. It currently powers eight markets in Nigeria but has ambitions to scale across Africa.
Rensource was hit hard by the pandemic, which saw prolonged market shutdowns. But it had already been working on a follow-on service for traders. They tend to use manual, unwieldy management methods, and Rensource developed an Enterprise Resource Management system to digitize and improve their workflows. COVID-19 gave Rensource time to flesh out the service, and it has now spun out this arm into another startup, Sabi. It has also begun developing power plants for commercial and industrial (C&I) clients.
Increase C&I clientele
Public energy ministries, agencies and departments, Commercial agricultural and industrial operators