SOUTH AFRICA – French infrastructure-focused equity investor STOA and Candi Solar, a clean energy company providing solar power to commercial and industrial (C&I) customers, have announced the closing of Candi’s Series B fundraising.

STOA’s investment will allow Candi to finance new solar projects in India and Africa, particularly South Africa, with the aim to reach 800 MWp of solar capacity installed by 2028.

In this financing round, whose amounts were not disclosed, STOA has been joined by the Energy Entrepreneurs Growth Fund and French renewable energy specialist Gaia Impact Fund.

Marie-Laure Mazaud, CEO of STAO, said this investment confirms STOA’s appetite for the distributed solar sector, which is small size solar power plants located close to the customers, which are by nature quick to install and fit the purpose.

“STOA’s conviction IS that the deployment of behind-the-meter solutions is as important as the installation of traditional utility-scale projects, in our common goal to reach a democratization of renewable and ultimately fight climate change,” Mazaud said.

Gaia had invested in Candi last June. It invested an additional US$1 million in the company after initially backing the firm in November 2018.

Founded in 2017, Candi is a dedicated rooftop solar installer, financier and operator for SMEs across Asia and Africa.

It brings together international capital, through its Swiss-based founders, and local expertise to provide a unique offering to this underserved sector.

In so doing Candi aims to reduce carbon emissions, create jobs, increase energy access and save money for small businesses, thereby releasing capital for more productive use in the economy.

Candi has already contracted 40MWp of solar capacity in India and South Africa and is now looking at a major scale-up.

Earlier this year, responsAbility Investments, the Swiss impact investment manager, and BIO, the Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries, provided a US$10 million equivalent multi-currency loan to Candi solar.

The loan was to finance new solar projects in South Africa and India, mitigating climate change. The loan structure provides flexibility in terms of the allocation of funds between South Africa and India as well as in terms of the denomination currency, allowing Candi to dynamically align its funding profile with the growth of its portfolio.

Candi pushes the frontiers of solar financing, creating pioneering solar ownership models through innovative contractual solutions.

By taking the best aspects of the standard Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) model and marrying them with other advantageous elements, they provide simplicity, lower risk, and higher value.

While the possibilities vary by region, Candi can use its localized expertise to propose solutions that are best suited for the customer and the context.

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