Zonful Energy, a provider of clean energy solutions to off-grid households in Zimbabwe, has secured its first funding round from Energy Access Ventures (EAV) to strengthen its core team, diversify its product offerings, and drive growth in order to serve the 10 million people without access to grid electricity in Zimbabwe.
According to William Ponela, founder CEO of Zonful, “At Zonful, we don’t just provide solar products, we make families more productive. We believe that a customer-centric focus, resulting from us closely listening to those we serve, is the right way to have the greatest positive impact. We are excited to work with EAV who truly share our values and ambition. Their investment and, importantly, their value-add will allow us to expand our distribution efforts in Zimbabwe and to realise our objective of sustainably improving the standard of living for millions of Zimbabweans whilst reducing CO2 emissions by at least 3 million tonnes over the next five years.”
Founded by serial entrepreneur, William Ponela, Zonful Energy (Zonful) promotes energy access in Zimbabwe by distributing high-quality pay-as-you-go (PAYG) solar home systems (SHS). The company has managed to navigate a challenging operating environment to become the country leader in the PAYG SHS space.
Vladimir Dugin, Investment Manager at EAV said, “EAV is delighted to lead Zonful’s funding round. Zonful is a unique example of a start-up where a local entrepreneur, despite economic and political headwinds, has managed to launch and grow their business. The company’s core values of customer satisfaction and gender diversity have helped them to place 10,000 systems and build a strong team of young professionals, nearly 60% of whom are women. We aim to be Zonful’s growth partner and to support them in substantially accelerating the deployment of solar home systems in rural Zimbabwe”.
“We are delighted that EAV is investing in Zonful, a clear homegrown leader in the Zimbabwean access to energy market,” said Gilles Vermot Desroches, SVP Sustainable Development at Schneider Electric. “Schneider Electric is proud to support the off-grid sector through EAV in Zimbabwe. Zonful is an outstanding example of the unbundling happening in the solar home systems industry as its business model focuses on cost-efficient distribution and financing.”