Energy Access Ventures Fund

Kenya, Ghana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, Chad, Zimbabwe Infrastructure, Manufacturing, Communications and IT Services, Financial services, Food and agriculture

Energy Access Ventures is a Paris-based private equity and venture capital firm specialising in the technology and energy sectors, including hydro-electricity, biomass, solar, wind, and thermal power.

Energy Access Ventures Fund (EAVF) specialises in early and growth capital for businesses active in the energy value chain that focus on underserved households and businesses.

This investment was made when British International Investment was named CDC Group.

Our investment

In 2017, British International Investment, through the Impact Fund, closed a €5 million top-up commitment to EAVF, bringing the total fund size to €75 million. This follows an investment of €16.5 million in 2015. Schneider Electric Industries sponsors the fund, providing investment as well as technical support, alongside investments from French DFI Proparco, Dutch DFI FMO, Fonds Français pour l’Environnement Mondial and the OPEC Fund for International Development.

Expected impact

More than 600 million sub-Saharan Africans lack access to electricity and 50 per cent of businesses view the lack of reliable access to electricity as a major constraint to their growth. EAVF seeks to invest in companies that tackle this challenge. 

Our investment will enable the fund manager to target growing energy infrastructure businesses which tap into new technology or innovative business models to address the problem of electricity shortages across the continent.  It will do this by providing electricity and energy-efficient solutions for underserved households and businesses. The fund focuses specifically on off-grid rural electrification. 

EAVF investments include Off-Grid Electric (OGE), a pioneering off-grid electric company providing clean, affordable solar power to homes in East Africa. The investment enabled OGE to increase its work in Tanzania, as well as enter the Rwandan market to make solar technology accessible to households without electricity.

Environmental and social aspects

We work closely with the fund manager on this first-time fund to develop and implement Environmental and Social Management Systems (ESMSs) in investee companies.

Key facts


Since 2012, we’ve only invested in Africa and South Asia. Investments outside these regions are from our pre-2012 portfolio.

Africa, East Africa

We have seven priority sectors. However, we continue to invest outside these sectors, largely in the most challenging regions, as new investment supporting any sector helps to underpin the private sector, and create jobs and livelihoods for people. For funds, the sectors listed here are those the fund has invested in so far.

Communications and IT Services, Financial services, Food and agriculture, Infrastructure, Manufacturing
Investment type

We provide capital in three broad ways: direct equity, debt, and intermediated equity (principally through investment funds).

Intermediated investment
Fund manager:
Aster Capital Partners
Start date

For direct investments, this is the date British International Investment committed capital to the business or project.

For funds, this is the date that British International Investment committed capital to the fund.

For underlying fund investments, this is the date that the fund invested capital into the business.e

February 2015

For direct investments, this is the total amount that British International Investment has committed to the business or project (it may be a combination of equity and debt).

For funds, this is the total amount that British International Investment has committed to the fund.


This is the investee company’s place of incorporation; or a fund’s jurisdiction.


Investments made by this fund

  • Active
  • Exited
Investment name Country Region Sector Start date Status
Zola Electric (formerly Off-Grid Electric)

Off-Grid Electric designs, manufactures, deploys, finances and serves solar home systems on a fee-for-service business model in Tanzania and Rwanda. The company operates as a vertically integrated distributed utility, leasing solar home systems (SHS) to rural and peri-urban households. OGE customers pre-pay their energy via mobile money.

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Africa, East Africa Infrastructure November 2015 Active
PEG Africa Ltd

PEG Africa is a leading distributor of solar home systems in West Africa on a Pay-as-you-Go basis. PEG reaches some of the poorest and most vulnerable customers in the region, where more than 150 million people live with no access to electricity and spend up to 30 per cent of their incomes on poor quality, polluting and sometimes dangerous fuels like kerosene, candles and batteries.

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Ghana Africa, West Africa Financial services June 2016 Active

d.light is a global leader in delivering affordable solar-powered solutions. It provides distributed solar energy solutions for households and small businesses.

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Kenya Africa, East Africa Infrastructure September 2016 Exited

InspiraFarms produces and sells off-grid modular, pre-certified renewable-powered processing and cold chain solutions for value addition and loss reduction in small scale agribusiness, enhancing the sustainability of domestic and global supply chains. The company is focused on developing markets in Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania, as well as in Central America.

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Kenya Africa, East Africa Manufacturing February 2017 Active

SunCulture is a solar irrigation company, serving smallholder farmers growing high value fruit and vegetables in Kenya with products for spray/mist irrigation, drip irrigation and solar pumping.

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Kenya Africa, East Africa Food and agriculture April 2017 Active
PayGo Energy

PayGo Energy is a distribution service that harnesses the power of pay-as-you-go-technology to bring modern LPG fuel and cooking equipment to homes. PayGo Energy installs smart metering systems on gas cylinders that enable customers to pre-pay for cooking gas. The smart meters monitor customer gas consumption and predict when gas is going to run out which allows for proactive replenishment of gas.

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Kenya Africa, East Africa Infrastructure April 2017 Active
Solarise Africa Kenya Africa, East Africa Infrastructure October 2018 Active
Palgo (formerly Port It Global) Kenya Africa, East Africa Financial services November 2018 Active
Zonful Solar Energy Zimbabwe Africa, East Africa Infrastructure November 2018 Active
Mawingu Networks

Mawingu Networks provides affordable wireless internet in specific hotspots in Africa, including home and business internet aiming to reach the most remote areas.

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Kenya Africa, East Africa Communications and IT Services March 2019 Active
Nuru (formerly Kivu Green Energy)

Nuru is dedicated to enhancing power in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Nuru set up the Congo's first solar-based mini-grid in 2017 and is currently constructing a 1.3MW solar hybrid site in Goma, the largest off-grid mini-grid in sub-Saharan Africa.

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Democratic Republic of Congo Africa, Central Africa Infrastructure March 2019 Active
Candi Solar

Candi is a dedicated rooftop solar installer, financier and operator for SMEs across Asia and Africa.

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Rest of the World Infrastructure July 2019 Active
ManoCap Energy

Manocap finances and manages commercial and industrial-scale energy systems for clients in Africa.

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Ghana Africa, West Africa Infrastructure December 2019 Active

SolarX is Mali-based solar company. It provides a one-stop shop solution for clean energy services, providing reliable and affordable energy which allows end-users to operate more efficiently in challenging environments. It is aiming to expand in Mali as well as in Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast.

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Mali Africa, West Africa Infrastructure June 2020 Active
ZIZ Energie

Ziz Energie is a solar energy company based in Chad. It supplies solar power to businesses

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Chad Africa, Central Africa Infrastructure June 2020 Active

We are now British International Investment