OUR GREAT MINDS

    by Tina Olivero

    ZOLA Electric Raises $90 Million from Leading Clean Energy Players

    ZOLA Electric, the leading renewable energy technology company solving Energy Access and Energy Equality in emerging markets, announces the successful completion of a $90 million capital raise, comprised of $45 million of equity, $45 million of debt. The equity element was led by several prominent investors including TotalEnergies Ventures – the venture capital arm of TotalEnergies SE, DBL Partners, Helios Investment Partners, Vulcan Capital, plus Lyndon and Pete Rive – the founders of SolarCity. In addition, Electron Capital Partners, a New York based public market clean energy investor is also supporting this capital raise.

    This is their first private equity investment. The debt is being provided by some of the leading Energy Access lenders including FMO, the Dutch entrepreneurial development bank, and Sunfunder, a solar finance company providing debt capital to solar enterprises in emerging markets.

    Bill Lenihan, Chief Executive Officer of ZOLA Electric, said, “We are beyond grateful and proud to close this $90 million funding round. Businesses are judged by the company they keep, and we are thrilled to have the backing of these leading energy operators and investors. The world needs energy access, energy equality, and it needs to be done in a way that protects our environment while supporting economic development. Digital renewable energy can help us accomplish these weighty objectives, and as a leading energy access technology company, this is what we intend to achieve.”

    Today, ZOLA delivers energy to approximately 1.5 million users, across over 10 countries, predominantly in Africa but recently expanded to Asia and South America. Its products are distributed through leading integrators and developers including EDF, Shell, Econet/DPA and to emerging DRE (distributed renewable energy) integrators like Blue Camel in Nigeria.

    Edouard Bulteau, Principal at TotalEnergies Ventures, commented, “Energy is reinventing itself, and we need to find a path to a low-carbon future while meeting the energy needs of the society. Developing renewable energy solutions dedicated to emerging markets is key to reach this goal and represents a huge investment opportunity. This is why TotalEnergies Ventures is delighted to support ZOLA, a leading company in this area, in their latest fund raise.”

    In these markets, the lack of primary power results in the installation of millions of back-up solutions (diesel generators, lead acid batteries) that are poorly integrated, difficult to manage, unreliable, costly, dirty, and lack intelligence. As a result, socio-economic development, healthcare and education is hindered. ZOLA’s objective is to drive energy access to the 2.2 billion people and hundreds of millions of businesses that currently lack it.

    Nancy Pfund, Founder and Managing Partner at DBL Partners, said, “DBL’s mission has always been to drive top tier venture capital returns and positive social and environmental change. ZOLA embodies our mission in every way, and we are excited to see the company build the same success in clean energy in Africa and other emerging markets that we have had with clean energy investments in the United States. DBL firmly believes that access to clean,
    affordable, and reliable energy is a global movement, and the time is now.”

    Sources and Images: ZOLA Electric

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