WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Kupanda Holdings today announced a seed investment into Nithio Holdings, Inc. (“Nithio”), made alongside the Rise Fund, a global investment fund committed to achieving measurable social and environmental outcomes alongside competitive financial returns. Nithio is an energy finance company focused on the off-grid sector in Africa. Kupanda Holdings is a joint venture between Kupanda Capital and TPG Growth.
“Currently, over 600 million people on the African continent do not have access to modern energy. Nithio was created as a solution to this intractable problem. We have developed a powerful tool to deploy blended finance with greater precision in order to reach those people who need it most,” said Héla Cheikhrouhou, Co-Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Nithio. Ms. Cheikhrouhou was previously the Minister of Energy in Tunisia and the first Executive Director to establish and manage the Green Climate Fund. She also ran the Energy Department at the African Development Bank, one of the largest financiers of energy projects across Africa.
Nithio was founded to help scale off-grid solutions that address the acute need for modern energy access across Africa. The unique blend of geospatial data combined with the team’s long history in the market, has created an unparalleled product. Nithio’s finance and underwriting tools allow for more detailed understanding of consumer credit, climate risk, and behavioral differences, even across individuals of similar profiles in Africa. With a more granular understanding of consumer credit risk in Africa, distributed energy companies can target new customers even in the most remote locations across the continent. Nithio also serves as the infrastructure for large capital providers to pool and deploy concessional funds. These funds can be used to support households without an ability to pay for energy services or can also be used to purchase consumer receivables directly from distributed energy companies, providing them with much needed liquidity and working capital–ensuring the growth and sustainability of the nascent industry.
“We’re excited to partner with Kupanda Capital and The Rise Fund to launch this pioneering company which will deliver huge value to the off-grid ecosystem,” said Kate Steel, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer at Nithio. Steel has a long career in the off-grid power sector, most recently as Energy Director for Power Africa, the signature development initiative of President Obama, and previously in the Energy Access and Investments team at Google, and as manager of the World Bank-IFC Lighting Africa initiative.
“Leveraging the power of geospatial data, Kupanda Capital and the Nithio management team will be able to target creditworthy customers and deploy climate and concessional funds with greater precision,” said Bobby Pittman, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Kupanda Capital.
“This partnership exemplifies our commitment as business builders to develop and support high-impact ideas, backed by world-class management teams. Our support will help this uniquely talented team facilitate the rapid expansion of targeted financing to the energy space and thus deliver more power to customers across Africa,” said Queen Nworisara Quinn, Co-Founder and Partner at Kupanda Capital.
“We believe Nithio has the potential to revolutionize access to energy across the continent – helping to open access to millions of people. With Nithio, institutional investors, commercial banks, DFIs and multilateral agencies can channel private capital and concessional funds efficiently to companies and consumers in the off-grid sector in Africa,” said Bill McGlashan, Co-Founder and CEO of The Rise Fund.
Nithio Holdings Inc., is an energy finance platform that provides services to distributed energy service companies, capital providers, governments, and other stakeholders in the distributed solar energy sector in Africa.
About Kupanda Capital
Kupanda Capital is a leading investment firm established to create, capitalize and scale pan-African companies. The Kupanda team has decades of experience working on projects, investments and policy in nearly every market in Africa. The firm leverages this experience to deploy solutions that are both customized and scalable. In addition to Nithio, the firm also co-founded Fraym.io, which is the leading geospatial data company in Africa. For more information, visit www.kupandacapital.com.
About The Rise Fund
The Rise Fund is a global investment fund committed to achieving meaningful and measurable societal outcomes alongside competitive financial returns. The Rise Fund is managed by TPG Growth, the global growth equity and middle market buyout platform of alternative asset firm TPG. TPG Growth Founder and Managing Partner Bill McGlashan, U2 lead singer Bono, a well-known activist and a special partner with TPG Growth, and Jeff Skoll, a global entrepreneur, film producer, and impact investor, co-founded The Rise Fund. They were joined by a group of influential thought leaders with a deep personal and professional commitment to driving social and environmental progress, who came together to form the Founders Board. The Rise Fund’s objectives align with the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals. The Rise Fund invests in education, energy, food and agriculture, financial services, growth infrastructure, healthcare, and TMT companies that deliver complete returns.