Last week, impact investor Investisseurs & Partenaires (I&P) announced news of two minority investments it has recently made in West Africa. Both investments were made from its €54 million I&P Afrique Entrepreneur Fund and the financial terms of each deal were not disclosed. The first is the acquisition of a 35% stake in Enval Laboratoire, a physicochemical and microbiology lab located in the Côte d’Ivoire, while the second is participating in a consortium investing $3.2 million in PEG Africa, a renewable energy company bringing off-grid solar energy access to underserved communities.
ENVAL was founded by Bakary Coulibaly in 2012, and, while specializing in providing microbiological and physico-chemical analysis services, has expanded its activities to soil testing, foliar analysis and oil analysis as well as noise-measuring and air quality analyses. In anticipation of the growth expected from Côte d’Ivoire’s promising but immature mining market, the company plans to launch the country’s first accredited mining laboratory. The capital provided by IAPE and a local commercial bank will be used to execute these plans.
PEG Africa, which was founded by Hugh Whalan and Nate Heller in 2013, plans to bring off-grid solar access to rural and peri-urban communities in Ghana through a licensing agreement with M-KOPA, a “pay-as-you-go” energy provider to more than 200,000 off-grid customers in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. According to M-KOPA’s website, their customers acquire solar systems for a small deposit, purchase daily usage credits which cost less than the price of traditional kerosene lighting and gain ownership of their systems after one year of payments. All revenues are collected in real-time via mobile payments.
Other participants in the $3.2 million round led by IPAE include by French investment fund ENGIES Rassembleurs d’Energies, German DFI DEG, the Impact Assets Emerging Market Climate Fund and U.S. debt provider Sunfunder.
IPAE currently has over 20 companies in its portfolio, located in more than 10 countries across the continent. The fund, which typically invests between €500,000 and €1.5 million in companies in several sectors expects to make between 5 and 8 additional investments in West Africa over the next 2 years.