Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Burundi, South Sudan, Ghana, and Nigeria
- Small Hydro
Size of Investment
Total Fund Size
General Fund Information
Type of Investment
Debt or equity
Investors of Fund
Donors and international development agencies
Size of Investment
Market interest rates or below
In 2015, Acumen invested $0.7M in Devergy, a company that offers affordable pay-as-you-go energy services for low-income customers in Tanzania.
Additional Project Characteristics
Investments are offered to companies who are operating locally. Acumen will only invest in post-revenue stage of the company.
Additional FMC Info
Ernst & Young, Fellowship for leadership with SAP, ResponsAbility, Novastar, Standard Charter, Equity Bank and local Development Banks
Location of Registration and HQ
Kenya and Ghana
Primary Contact Information For Developers
Types of Financing
Acumen will always take a minority stake in the company. In case of renewable energy projects, the equity investments are geared towards the development of the company itself – not the project.
Technical Assistance / Grants
Small amounts of grants are available in some cases after application, in addition to significant post investment support. This support includes access to experts, network of partners, training and development, and additional fundraising support.
USD denominated loans are offered to relevant companies, at market and below-market interest rates. Acumen offers flexible return structures, based on the specific needs of the company.
Guarantee / Insurance
Guarantees are sometimes offered, in partnership with USAID.
Requirements for Financing
Renewable energy companies applying for capital from Acumen must comply with the following criteria: have significant operation in East Africa or West Africa, be an early-mid stage company that is in the process of scaling, have a product or deliver a service that addresses a critical need for the poor, have a clear business model that demonstrates the potential for financial sustainability, able to demonstrate a clear path to scale, and have a strong and experienced management team with the skills and the will to execute the business plan.
Acumen looks at three main pillars in its impact framework: 1. Focus on the poor – ventures that deliver critical products and services that enable poor customers to transform their lives 2. Breadth – ventures with a wide reach and game-changing innovations, that have the potential to scale to millions of low-income customers 3. Depth – true effect on customers’ quality of life over time. Essentially these pillars are assessed by reviewing the ability of the venture to increase jobs, increase the income and the livelihood of the households of the poor, and the number of people it impacts.
Due Diligence Requirements
Business plan, financial plan, marketing plan. The company must be legally registered and have audited financial statements. All legal requirements and documents must be in place.
Detailed Description Of Funding Process Procedure
Three stages of due diligence. First initial assessment to determine general fit will generally take a few days. The second stage includes an examination of the business plan (this will include conversations with employees, clients, and other stakeholders), assessment of leadership, potential for impact, sustainability, capacity to scale, leadership in place to achieve the scale. Third stage is the legal due diligence, registration and permits. The entire process is expected to take 4-6 months.