• Green Rising
  • Posts
  • The top 20 African green ventures currently raising money

The top 20 African green ventures currently raising money

Global interest is starting to improve the investment landscape for climate ventures on the continent. We list 20 stand-out companies and look at the four sectors taking off.

Hi and welcome back… it’s a hectic week for professionals in Africa’s green economy. Some of us are preparing for meeting marathons in New York at the UN General Assembly and NY climate week. Meanwhile, the shocking news from Libya, where extreme weather killed thousands, underlines why climate work in Africa matters.

Today’s reading time: 5 mins

LOGISTICS UPDATE | Thursday 14 September

* Countdown: New York climate week starts in 4 days (Sept 18)

* Grow the crowd: Side events at the UN General Assembly next week

🤝 Agenda: IGCF 2023 convenes sustainability champions this week in UAE

📖 New reports: From the IEA and the Global Center on Adaptation 

🌳 Other event: Sfax, Tunisia hosts an environment forum this week

1. Who is raising how much money in Africa’s climate space?

Africa needs significant new investments to see sufficient climate action. Existing companies and operations won't be enough to shift the needle.

The challenge: Today’s investment climate is tricky. Venture investments in Africa fell by 43% in the first half of the year compared to H1 2022 (AVCA). Globally, they halved.

Deal-making: Ventures raising new funds are taking advantage of a series of international meetings that bring together the ecosystem and ease access to people writing cheques, including last week’s Africa Climate Summit.

The details: Green Rising has rounded up what’s currently in the investment pipeline. The potential investees fall into four clearly delineated categories.

1. Agriculture: SunCulture ($36m) and Hand in Hand ($26m) are the biggest raisers. The former will fund the deployment of 274,000 solar irrigation units, relying heavily on tech solutions for smallholders. The latter wants to train 75,000 farmers on regenerative practices.

2. Carbon: The standout ask comes from Global Evergreening, seeking $30m each for Ghana and Senegal. They intend to restore 440,000 hectares of land and support 400,000 households with the ultimate aim of capturing almost 18 million tCO2e. Second among carbon fundraisers is Octavia ($6m), building capacity for direct air capture in Kenya.

3. Mobility: The numbers in this sector are getting bigger every year. Market penetration is now very much a priority for existing operators, though new entrants still loom. Five companies are jointly raising more than $100m. The three biggest raisers are:

  • Ampersand asking for $40m to 7x its fleet of commercial-use electric motorbikes

  • Roam raising $25m in equity and debt to expand its e-motorcycle business

  • BasiGo seeking $15m for pay-as-you-drive electric buses in Kenya & Rwanda

4. Energy: This sector had a headstart in Africa and it shows in the numbers. Arch Holdings intends to spend $200m on a clean cooking programme that replaces wood-fuel with liquefied natural gas. Meanwhile, Virunga Power wants to put $60m into a grid in Burundi, and GreenMax is seeking $50m for the African off-grid sector.

Bottom line: The energy sector takes three of the top five slots overall and accounts for $355 million out of a total of $575 million being sought.

2. Libya’s climate tragedy has a clear lesson

Better forms of weather monitoring as well as early warning systems could have helped save thousands of lives on the Libyan coast this week.

  • Future climate action must include a focus on the 40% of Africans who lack access to early warnings for extreme weather, so experts agree.

Why it matters: More than 5,000 died and 10,000 are missing in the coastal city of Derna.

  • Libyan officials failed to warn residents about an approaching storm.

  • Extreme rains led to ill-maintained dams bursting above the city.

  • The resulting flood waters swept entire city blocks out to sea.

Climate intelligence: It is a grim irony that only last week representatives from the Libyan government, along with leaders from Ethiopia and Eritrea, called for better climate monitoring centres on the continent.

Long-term toll: Africa accounted for 35% of climate-related fatalities between 1970 and 2021. Africans are twice as likely to die in the climate crisis as the average human.

  • Average deaths from flooding in Africa are four times higher than in Europe and North America.

What’s needed: Installing infrastructure and training staff could prevent many deaths.

  • Investments in radar stations, weather prediction models, warning systems, satellite monitoring and training for meteorologists would cost up to $1 billion.

  • Filipe Lucio of the World Meteorological Organisation said at the Africa Climate Week that, "Partnerships exist to aid in implementing frameworks."

Additional challenges: Investment and training are not enough.

  • False alarms can undermine trust in new systems.

  • Difficult-to-reach communities are often the most vulnerable.

  • Integrating indigenous knowledge is useful but can be tricky.

Role models: Past natural disasters have resulted in the installation of robust early warning systems in Asia. A tsunami in the Indian Ocean two decades ago was a particular trigger.

  • Commentators have asked how large an African tragedy it will take to follow suit.

The backdrop: Africa is the continent most vulnerable to climate change, while having the least developed meteorological services.

  • Researchers warn that Africa's vulnerability to extreme weather is mostly due to a lack of preparedness.

Impactful solutions: Not everything costs lots of money. Radio is widely available in rural Africa and can be an effective tool to distribute early warnings where mobile phones fail.

3. Q&A: Climate leaders with answers

Pauline Owiti is the innovation & exhibition lead for the African Youth Climate Assembly (AYCA), which aims to share ideas and showcase solutions in the climate crisis.

Q: What book best explains Africa’s climate crisis? A: ‘The Fate of Africa’ by Martin Meredith – it provides historical context for the environmental challenges Africa faces today.

Q: What country in Africa should outsiders visit to learn about its climate? A: Senegal. It faces coastal erosion and rising sea levels. Visitors can examine the impact of climate change and explore adaptation strategies.

Q: What is your earliest memory of the climate crisis? A: Drought in Kenya, which completely disturbed pastoralist livelihoods. Many lost thousands of animals, and livestock markets in places like Kajiado and Turkana county were depleted.

Q: Who is your greatest role model in bringing about climate action? A: Katharine Hayhoe, a climate scientist and educator who has managed to communicate climate science to the public, especially in the context of faith-based communities.

4. Media monitoring

  • Old vices: Critics warn that corruption could hobble climate action in Africa, emphasising the need for transparency and accountability.

  • Old remedies: The insurance sector has a role to play in climate action that is yet to be fully embraced on the continent.

  • Full marks: With the inauguration of its wind power plant, Djibouti attains 100% green energy.

  • Traffic unjammed: Lagos demonstrates how important public transport is to an urban green transition with its first metro line.

  • Big deal: Zambia is developing carbon credit projects covering 5% of its landmass with a Chinese forestry firm.

Don’t have time to read 100+ media sources every day? We’ve done the reading for you. Check out our full media monitoring here

How did you like today's edition?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

📬 Did a friend send you this newsletter? Welcome, sign up here using their referral link.

Thanks to the Green Rising team for putting this together.

Get the full story...

This content is free, but you must be subscribed to continue reading. Cancel anytime.

Already a subscriber?Sign In.Not now