Home » Mauritian tycoon Arnaud Lagesse’s IBL Group backs Qotto’s $8-million Series-A equity-debt round

Mauritian tycoon Arnaud Lagesse’s IBL Group backs Qotto’s $8-million Series-A equity-debt round

by Mfonobong Nsehe
Arnaud Lagesse

IBL Group, a multinational conglomerate led by Mauritian multimillionaire businessman Arnaud Lagesse, has partnered with other investors to secure $8 million in a Series-A equity-debt round for Qotto, a Burkina Faso and Benin-based solar kit provider.

This support from Arnaud Lagesse’s IBL Group follows the conglomerate’s recent collaboration with other investors to back 4Di Capital’s new $25-million seed fund, which occurred just three months prior.

Qotto, founded in 2016 by Jean-Baptiste Lenoir, is a startup that specializes in providing independent solar kits and lanterns to people in Africa living in regions with limited access to electricity. It offers a pay-to-own option to make its products accessible to those living off-grid in sub-Saharan Africa due to the underdevelopment of the national power grids.

Renewable energy solutions offered by companies such as Qotto are effectively closing the energy access gap in the world’s least electrified nations, including South Sudan, Burundi, Chad, Malawi, Burkina Faso, Madagascar, and Tanzania, all located in sub-Saharan Africa, home to 75 percent of the global population without access to electricity.

The $8-million Series A equity-debt round backed by the Lagesse-led group will enable the company to scale in its current markets and establish operations in the Ivory Coast, slated to begin next month.

Lenoir, the co-founder and president of Qotto, said the startup’s expansion into the Ivory Coast is well-timed, given the country’s consistent development pace compared to the wider West Africa region, and Qotto’s prior success testing and optimizing operations and services in Benin and Burkina Faso.

The startup’s expansion into new markets is set to receive a significant boost with the introduction of new products.

By September this year, the company plans to expand into East Africa in partnership with IBL, a world-class, diverse Mauritian conglomerate. Under the dynamic leadership of Lagesse, IBL aims to reinforce its presence in the region and promote the use of renewable energy.

In addition to serving as directors, Lagesse and his siblings Benoit, Hugues, Jean-Pierre, Thierry, and Stephane Lagesse own a 16.8-percent joint stake in the group, or 114,369,469 shares.

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