OOLU Solar Issue 2: Senegal - 6% Bond
Every £215 invested will enable OOLU Solar to install modular Solar Home System to households previously off the grid.
Your investment will help OOLU to provide clean energy to 697 families in Senegal.
OOLU LLC, the parent company of Oolu SARL, is a US based company incorporated in 2017 and is one of the fastest growing off-grid solar companies in West Africa. "Oolu" means trust in Wolof, the local language most commonly spoken in Senegal, and so corresponds with OOLU's goal to provide quality products and after sales service that communities and customers can trust. Since their incorporation they have installed over 45,000 solar home systems to families in Senegal and Mali and are looking to expand their operations into Burkina Faso and Nigeria in 2018.
This project benefits from match funding from UK aid. UK aid has provided an up-front match of £37,500, meaning that for every £3 invested into this project by the crowd an additional £1 will be invested through match funding.
Key product information
Issuer: OOLU SARL
Issuing Country: Senegal
Investment target: £150,000
Minimum investment: £50
Maximum investment: No maximum
Maturity: 30 months
Expected interest rate: 6% per annum
Witholding tax rate: 10% (applicable to UK residents who do not invest within an IF ISA)
Interest payment frequency: 6 monthly
Notional repayment: 6 monthly
Financial instrument: Unsecured interest bearing bond
This is a bond issued by a single company (rather than a savings product) and therefore it is recommended that you are careful with the amount you invest.
You must read the investment memorandum (provided below) where a full statement of risks is presented.
What the project investment will enable
Every £215 invested will allow OOLU to install 1 modular Solar Home System to households that were previously off-grid. OOLU will use the funds to install 697 modular Solar Home Systems across Senegal.
OOLU distribute solar products from selected and reliable suppliers who are Lighting Global Certified. OOLU's current suppliers are Amped Innovation and Greenlight Planet. The first product which OOLU distribute is an entry-level solar home system and comes with a 5-10W PV panel, 20-40Wh LiFePO4 battery, 3-4 high efficiency LED lights and 1-2 USB charging ports. Their second system is a larger modular system that includes a 40W (up to 120W) PV panel, 100Wh (up to 180Wh) LiFePO4 battery, 6 high efficiencies LED lights, 2 USB charging ports and a TV. It is this second, larger system that will be purchased with the proceeds of this raise.
Providing families and individuals with access to a TV has multiple impact benefits. Firstly, keeping up to-date with local news and weather forecasts is important to them to better understand any developments that may impact them. Secondly, educational content on TV is typically very accessible for both children and adults, who are able to learn useful topics, such as farming techniques, through engaging story-telling. Furthermore, research has shown that TV shows often inspire viewers to reach higher, driving them to study and work harder. Finally, it provides an opportunity for families and friends to gather around and strengthen important social ties.
OOLU's payment plans allow customers between 18-24 months to pay back their systems and their flexible nature allows customers to extend this period should they encounter payment difficulties.
OOLU will deploy 697 Solar Home Systems throughout Senegal where just under 44% of individuals do not have access to electricity.
Not only will your investment into this OOLU offer allow them to make 697 Solar Home Systems available to off-grid families, but you'll also be helping the company to grow and provide further employment opportunities. By the end of 2018, Oolu will scale their operations in Mali, Nigeria and Burkina Faso and within 5 years they expect to have expanded into 9 countries in West Africa.
Social and environmental impact
SHS & lanterns have been shown to have a significant impact on customers' lives and the environment. OOLU SARL has sold over 45,000 SHS in Senegal and Mali, impacting the lives of roughly 225,000 people.
Social Impact statistics taken from GOGLA's July 2018 study 'Powering Opportunity: The Economic Impact of Off-Grid Solar'
of solar light users who previously used kerosene lamps experienced an improvement in their health
of customers purchasing a solar lantern or home system reported feeling safer since buying or using their product
of households with children report that they now have more time with which to do their homework
Using industry-recognised Global Off-Grid Lighting Association (GOGLA) impact metrics, OOLU has calculated the environmental impact of installing 697 Solar Home Systems as follows:
Number of people who will enjoy clean energy access
Average new household saving on energy-related expenditure over solar product lifetime
Annual total greenhouse gas emissions offset per household