The BUILD Fund, an impact investing vehicle created by Bamboo Capital Partners and the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), has invested in a Kenyan company to mark its debut deal.
The fund has provided a working capital facility of $500,000 for Mwezi Ltd, a distributor of solar products in rural Kenya.
Mwezi sells and distributes solar products such as lamps, fishing lights, cookstoves, and solar-powered TVs, radios and torches. The company offers products provided by suppliers such as Greenlight Planet, BioLite and Rural Spark.
The firm offers customers access to these products through a Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) system. This helps low-income households in rural Sub-Saharan Africa tackle the financing barriers and afford clean energy.
The products allow rural households to replace the use of kerosene for cooking and lighting. The PAYG products are sold on credit, with payment plans lasting from 273 days to 567 days, depending on the product features and pricing.
Mwezi will use the investment from BUILD to drive its expansion into solar productive products and solar agri-business products in Kenya and neighbouring countries including Uganda, Ethiopia and Rwanda.
“Mwezi showcases how innovative financing solutions can make a real difference to improve access to energy for rural, off-grid communities, while simultaneously creating economic opportunities and reducing environmental damage,” said Jean-Philippe de Schrevel, founder and managing partner at Bamboo Capital.
BUILD is an impact finance vehicle designed to bring “missing middle” finance to small-and medium sized enterprises that have the potential for strong development impact in the world’s least developed countries. It is managed by Bamboo Capital and provides growth capital to businesses identified and supported by the UNCDF.