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Empowerment investment holding company African Rainbow Capital (ARC) has acquired a minority shareholding in GoSolr, a residential solar energy company in South Africa, for an undisclosed amount.

In a statement, business magnate Patrice Motsepe-controlled ARC says GoSolr was founded in 2021 and began with installations in Cape Town, rapidly expanding to other major metropolitan areas in 2022.

In 2020, ARC and its investment advisory firm operating outside SA, ARCH Emerging Market Partners, committed R249 million to develop and finance new commercial and industrial solar assets across Africa.

Motsepe-backed ARCH’s Africa Renewable Power Fund also recently invested $3 million in local blockchain-based solar start-up Sun Exchange.

The acquisition of a minority stake in GoSolr comes as more South African households and businesses explore alternative energy solutions amid power utility Eskom’s lengthy battle to keep the lights on.

Rooftop solar has become a popular choice for households, as it requires minimal maintenance, most of its components are highly-durable with a long lifespan and energy costs reduce over time.

The recently-enhanced Section 12B tax incentive has encouraged fund managers to raise retail capital to fund solar projects in South Africa.

GoSolr’s key proposition is offering solar-a-a service with fixed monthly fees to households. Its aim is to accelerate the shift to solar energy in SA, which it says is achievable by making residential solar solutions affordable, smart and secure.

According to the company, this approach will make solar PV solutions more accessible and exponentially increase adoption by households.

The transaction was done through ARC Financial Services Investments, the financial services investment arm of ARC.

ARC believes the transaction creates growth opportunities for both parties and will further enable GoSolr to accelerate its operational targets to meet the increased demand for quality, affordable, solar solutions.

GoSolr CEO Andrew Middleton comments: “We have followed closely the development of ARC over the years and its commitment to fast-growing, disruptive companies, and we are excited to enter into this partnership.

“The key value we see ARC offering GoSolr is it’s a strong balance sheet that will further enable us to fund our ambitious future growth opportunities. This, together with ARC’s impressive network of corporate opportunities and solid broad-based empowerment credentials, makes it a partnership we are very excited about at GoSolr.”

The acquisition is in line with ARC’s strategic focus, the company notes.

Says Johan van Zyl, co-CEO of ARC: “We believe GoSolr will add significant value to the ARC Investments portfolio, as well as clients outside of the portfolio.

“To protect our environment and do business in a responsible and environmentally-friendly manner, we must find an alternative, sustainable energy source that reduces greenhouse gases, improves air quality and leads to a reduction in dependency on fossil fuels.

“We are excited to support GoSolr’s growth and help it achieve its ambitious goals. The company has a strong team with a proven track record.”

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