Innovative West Africa tech enabled Essential Services operator Qotto secures Euro 8M in equity and debt funding in a Series A round led by IBL Group to fund its business acceleration

February 25 00:03 2023

Qotto, an Essential Services operator, headquartered in France with operations in Burkina Faso, Benin and Ivory Coast announced raising Euro 8 million in a Series A funding round led by IBL group. Headquartered in Mauritius, IBL group is a billion-dollar conglomerate, with footprints across energy, financial services, logistics, distribution, and engineering sectors.

The Off-Grid Energy Access Fund (FEI-OGEF) and Cordaid also joined hands with the lead investor, alongside Qotto’s existing shareholders.

Founded in 2016, Qotto designs and distributes stand-alone solar kits suited to the needs of people in rural and peri-urban areas in Africa. It currently operates in Benin and Burkina Faso and will expand, through this round of founding to Ivory Coast and East Africa. Qotto is scaling an improved and more efficient model of solar home systems including additional revenue streams and services, targeting the rural and peri urban consumer. An innovative business model developed and implemented by Qotto aims to scale their solar off grid presence with two other product lines: internet access hotspots and financial services leveraging its proprietary technology stack integrating IoT, FINTECH and cleantech solution to its clients.

Qotto has shown an impressive 50% Y-o-Y revenue growth with a strong active customer base of 11,000 at the end of year 2022.

The financing arrangement is a mix of debt and equity, the proceeds of which Qotto will use to support and scale operations in West Africa, extend its geographic footprint, and reach 25,000 customers by the end of 2023.

“We welcome the new investors and are thrilled to scale our triple play model, leveraging our modular off-grid solar home systems, to offer internet connectivity and a host of financial services to our clients in the near future. Our innovative solutions will benefit greatly from IBL’s 100 years of industrial and commercial experience in Africa- the investment of such a partner confirms the scalability and relevance of our business model designed to bring essential services to rural Africans. “ said Jean-Baptiste Lenoir, President, and Co-founder of Qotto.

In addition to the capital investment in this series A round and leveraging IBL group’s expertise in scaling business in Africa, Qotto and IBL group, have signed a partnership and agreed to offer Qotto’s off-grid solutions in the East African market, thus supporting Qotto’s ambitious expansion plan on the continent and IBL growing presence in the region.

“We are thrilled to be part, alongside its founders and teams, of what promises to be an exciting journey with Qotto, as it touches lives in Africa and benefits from their unique know-how. With its high impact solutions empowering a young and growing African population, Qotto does perfectly complement IBL Energy’s core portfolio of B2B solutions primarily addressed to the Commercial and Industrial segments” shares Pierre Egot, GM of IBL Energy.

StratLink Africa was the exclusive sell-side advisor of the transaction with the support of Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF).

About Qotto

Qotto is an off-grid solar solution provider headquartered in France, designing, and distributing standalone solar kits in Benin and Burkina Faso to meet the needs of families in rural areas. Qotto currently provides light and TV kits, with a solar panel and battery to assist rural areas that are not connected with national electricity grids. After validating its offering and business model in 2 countries, Qotto is now expanding its operations with the ambition to impact 1 000 000 people in 4 countries by 2026.

About IBL Group

IBL is a diversified group based in Mauritius with a world-class expertise. It is listed on the Stock Exchange of Mauritius. IBL works and invests in 9 industries over 287 companies in 18 countries worldwide. The company has investments in a well-diversified set of industries ranging from agro, energy, engineering, financial services, hospitality, logistics, and property among others.

About StratLink Africa Ltd

StratLink is an emerging market focused financial advisory company with Capital Raising Advisory, Corporate Advisory and Market Research as core business lines. StratLink believes in the growth potential of emerging markets and partners with clients to execute their vision by providing quality services and access to capital. StratLink recognizes opportunities in the region and connects the fastest growing middle market companies with leading global investment banks, private equity firms and family offices.

About AECF

The AECF is a non-profit development organization that catalyzes the private sector by surfacing and commercializing new ideas, business models and technologies designed to increase agricultural productivity, improve farmer incomes, expand clean energy access, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve resilience to the effects of climate change. In just over a decade, AECF haS supported over 400 businesses in 26 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, impacting more than 30 million lives, and creating over 27,000 direct jobs.

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