SunFi, a Nigerian energy fintech startup providing people access to solar energy and payment plans, has raised $2.325 million in seed funding.
The investment round was led by Nairobi-based Factor[e] and Sterling Bank’s SCM Capital Asset Management. Other participants included Voltron Capital, Norrsken Impact Accelerator, Ventures Platform, and Sovereign Capital.
Speaking on the reason for the investment, one of the lead investors, Lyndsay Holley-Handler, partner and chief venture builder at Factor[e], said,
SunFi has the ability to transform the way clean energy is accessed by households and businesses across Nigeria by creating a marketplace of clean energy products combined with flexible payment options — all of which are personalized to the customer’s financial and energy needs.
According to Rotimi Thomas, the CEO, this new funding will help the startup expand its operations and enhance its capacity to advise clients on the best systems to purchase at the most affordable prices.
With this funding, SunFi also hopes to improve its fintech features over the following 12 to 18 months, convert more than 4,000 consumers, and expand its existing 29-person workforce.
According to TechCrunch, it is in discussions to secure additional third-party funding, most likely in the form of debt, from commercial banks and other financing partners to move that cash through the system and pay for all the demands this year that the energy platform will have.
The energy fintech startup was launched in 2021 by Rotimi Thomas, Tomiwa Igun, and Olaoluwa Faniyi after they noticed the loophole customers and solar providers face with financing retail solar systems.
Their mission is to create value for clean energy investors and help reduce the technical and financial risk associated with financing solar solution portfolios. It also offers up new opportunities for lending as a service for clean energy providers.
Techcrunch also reported that SunFi had provided its customers with more than $600,000 since its launch, thanks to relationships with banking institutions. Additionally, it has accepted over 40 solar system vendors at various stages of vetting onto its platform; 10 are its primary suppliers and have provided services to over 129 consumers.
Speaking on their goal to curb the challenges customers face, Rotimi Thomas, CEO of SunFi said,
The challenge customers face with solar providers is that they want solutions they can pay small for; however, these solar platforms can’t offer. Because banks are afraid of the technical risk involved, they need something in between to talk with good solar providers and do the installation work while providing good capital to customers looking for the right solution. We’re the guys in the middle of all this.Rotimi Thomas, CEO of SunFi
The Nigeria-based energy company, which is built as a fintech for the cleantech space, provides customers with two payment options; a lease to own, i.e. after an initial deposit, customers can make payments in instalments before owing the solar system, and a subscription model, i.e. where customers pay to use the solar system monthly.
To help solar providers better manage their inventory, SunFi said it is working on a third revenue source. it currently provides them with a portal to track and manage portfolios or retail customers.
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