MyJouleBox, a solar distributor startup in West Africa, has successfully completed the Series A round funding aimed at strengthening its position as a leading energy specialist in Benin and accelerate its expansion in Burkina Faso, Senegal, and Togo.
The company, operating under the trade brand ARESS, has developed a competitive one-stop-shop approach to service complementary segments of clients (retail, SMEs, communities)in their decentralized, renewable energy needs.
“After 10 years with only our sweat and our desire to change things, we are very happy to welcome such a panel of partners who will support us financially and bring us their strong experience for a long, sustainable, profitable and impactful growth,” said Paul Berthomieu, CEO and co-founder of MyJouleBox.
While only 40 per cent of Beninese citizens have access to electricity, a significant gap is observed between access in urban (70 per cent) and rural areas (18 per cent). Governmental ambitions aim to achieve urban and rural electrification rates of 95 per cent and 65 per cent by 2025. A quarter of the country’s energy mix is expected to come from renewable energy. As a result, solar demand is expected to grow by 20 per cent per year by 2035 in Benin. MyJouleBox is well-positioned to contribute to accelerating electricity access in the country.
“Thanks to all the teams who participate on a daily basis in the technical, economic, and social success of the company and this new stage of our development, we hope to increase our efforts to meet the expectations of our partners and customers, to continue to innovate technically, commercially and socially to become a leading pan-African energy operator,” said Léonide Michael Sinsin, COO and Co-founder, MyJouleBox.
Operating profitably since its inception, the company has developed an extensive trackrecord as a cost-efficient, last-mile operator across a wide range of off-grid solar solutions, ranging from solar home systems to self-consumption solutions for peri-urban households and SMEs, including large solar back-up systems for commercial customers.
The funding aims to support the expansion of the company’s customer base and deploy up to 36 MW of photovoltaic solar modules by 2023. With this funding, the company aims to reach some 55 000 new beneficiaries, to save more than 40 000 tons of CO2 eq per year.
“In a few years’ time, MyJouleBox managed to grow from a young start-up to a major player in the West African off-grid renewable energy space. This success is mainly due to the exemplary vision and management of its two cofounders Léonide Sinsin and Paul Berthomieu. EDFI ElectriFI is very proud to support this dynamic organisation and contribute to its future success,” said Corentin Billiet, ElectriFI investment officer at EDFI Management Company.
The company is the first investment within the EDFI ElectriFI country window, a EUR 5 million country window dedicated to the Beninese renewable energy market. EDFI ElectriFI Country Windows are established in close collaboration with EU delegations and with the support of national governments.
“We had been following MyJouleBox’s entrepreneurial adventure for quite a while, meeting the 2 brilliant founders from time to time, and have been impressed by their footprint & recognition in Benin as pioneer energy access entrepreneurs. In 2020 the momentum was there, and we are convinced that the coalition of investors will bring the company to its next level of development,” said Hélène Demaegdt, President at Gaia Impact Fund.
Finergreen acted as the financial advisor to MyJouleBox during its fundraising. MyJouleBox, was supported by the law firm Allen & Overy and the coalition of investors by DGFLA.