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InfraCo Africa expands SunCulture solar irrigation in Africa by partnering with Savant Group

InfraCo Africa, a subsidiary of the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG), has announced a landmark agreement with Savant Group Ltd, pledging a substantial $12 million investment to scale up SunCulture’s solar irrigation solutions throughout sub-Saharan Africa. This strategic equity investment, facilitated through InfraCo Africa’s specialized investment arm, is part of a thriving Series B fundraising effort totaling $27.5 million.

The initiative aims to provide access to Internet-of-Things (IoT)-enabled solar-powered irrigation systems to hundreds of thousands of smallholder farmers by the year 2030. Currently, many of these farmers rely on rainfed agriculture or carbon-emitting diesel or petrol pumps for irrigation.

Expressing enthusiasm about the collaboration, SunCulture CEO, Samir Ibrahim, emphasized the significance of this milestone for the company. He stated, “This partnership represents a significant milestone for SunCulture, reflecting a strong vote of confidence in our vision, team, and potential. We are excited to collaborate with our investors as we work towards our shared goals.”

SunCulture offers farmers a sustainable alternative for managing climate-induced rainfall variability while eliminating the need for expensive and polluting fuel-based pumps. The company’s innovative approach encompasses the design, production, financing, installation, and maintenance of comprehensive solar irrigation systems featuring safe, low-voltage DC pumps. These systems, capable of pumping up to 1,200 liters of water per hour, are tailored for smallholdings spanning approximately 1-3 acres.

Equipped with solar PV systems, including sprinklers, drip irrigation, and battery storage, they optimize water usage efficiency by enabling early morning irrigation to minimize evaporation and targeted watering to individual plants to prevent wastage. Additionally, IoT-enabled functionalities provide remote monitoring and predictive maintenance, while battery systems offer domestic lighting and charging capabilities for small devices such as mobile phones.

Claire Jarratt, Chief Investment and Risk Officer at InfraCo Africa, expressed delight at joining Savant Group Ltd.’s other Series B investors to finalize the fundraising for SunCulture. Jarratt highlighted InfraCo Africa’s commitment to supporting SunCulture’s growth and entry into new markets, emphasizing the company’s unique approach to reducing upfront costs for farmers through consumer financing and carbon credits. By providing access to irrigation, SunCulture’s solutions enable farmers to boost their yields, enhance food security, and bolster agricultural incomes, fostering sustainable economic growth and prosperity in rural areas.

SunCulture operates on a “Pay-As-You-Grow” model, offering pumps to smallholder farmers at a 40-60% lower total cost of ownership compared to fuel-based pumps, depending on payment plans. Furthermore, SunCulture has registered as the first African solar water pump provider for a carbon credit program, verified by VERRA, further reducing upfront costs for farmers.

EKTA Partners served as the exclusive financial advisor for this transaction, leveraging their expertise in capital raising for tech companies driving positive change on a global scale.


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