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HomeAfricaInfraCo Africa Invests US$ 12 Million in SunCulture's Series B Round -...

InfraCo Africa Invests US$ 12 Million in SunCulture’s Series B Round – Kenyan Wall Street

Kenyan Climate-tech startup, SunCulture, has raised US$ 12 million after InfraCo Africa allocated an equity investment that would enable the expansion of Internet-of-Things solar-powered irrigation to small-scale farmers across Africa. 

  • SunCulture, which was founded in 2012 by Samir Ibrahim and Charles Nichols, intends to raise US$ 27.5 million in its Series B stage by attracting both equity and debt capital investment. 
  • Netflix co-founder Reed Hastings and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt are also keen in participating in SunCulture’s Series B round, together with the Acumen Resilient Agriculture Fund. 
  • SunCulture has raised US$ 65 million since its launch, selling over 47,000 solar-powered irrigation units across Kenya, Uganda, and Ivory Coast. 

“We are excited to collaborate with our investors as we work towards our shared goals,” Samir Ibrahim said. 

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The startup aims to raise US$ 219 million as its ultimate goal to facilitate the distribution of more than 270,000 solar irrigation systems in Kenya alone. The ‘Pay-As-You-Grow’ model allows farmers with little income to afford installing these systems, while comfortably paying in instalments as time goes on. InfraCo Africa has lauded the company for making irrigation pumps cheaper and efficient for farmers. 

“The ‘total cost of ownership’ for a SunCulture pump is 40-60% lower than the cost of a fuel-based pump, depending on payment plans,” the investor stated. “The company’s unique offering involves the design, manufacture, financing, installation, and maintenance of comprehensive solar irrigation systems with safe, low-voltage DC pumps. Capable of pumping up to 1,200 litres of water per hour, the affordable systems are targeted at smallholdings of approximately 1-3 acres.”

Due to the negative effects of climate change, African small-scale farmers cannot continue relying on rain-fed agriculture if they wish to maximize their yield. In Kenya alone, small-scale farmers produce more than 63% of the food consumed in the country according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Traditional irrigation units utilize fuel, releasing Carbon(IV)oxide into the atmosphere worsening the climate situation. SunCulture is an innovative way of irrigating small-holder farms while being mindful of clean energy solutions. 

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