The Evolution of Financing Climate Tech

Afri-Spective by AVCA
2 min readOct 6, 2023

with Marcus Watson, Investment Director, Kawisafi Ventures

My name is Marcus Watson and I’m a partner at Kawisafi Ventures; a climate-focused fund manager. We’re an equity fund manager and invest in late venture, early growth stages across four key climate verticals: energy transition, mobility and logistics, and green productivity and carbon and natural solutions.

What drives us and what determines our investment decisions, we look for climate-focused technologies; both climate mitigation technologies, which avoid and displace fossil fuels and CO2, and adaptive technologies, products and services that help communities become more resilient to weather shocks and a changing climate.

What regions on the continent does your organisation focus on when deploying capital?

Our first fund was focused on East Africa. As a result, all of the businesses we invested in were anchored in East Africa, but then we ended up expanding into other regions — Southern Africa and West Africa in particular for our second fund. We’re expanding our geographic mandate and are going to be investing in Pan Africa, as we’re seeing really exciting opportunities in different parts of the continent.

Do you believe the clean energy transition is achievable in Africa?

Kawisafi is investing in climate technology that delivers win-wins. It has to be delivering real value and real cost savings in the here and now.

In our first fund, we invested heavily in solar power, the cost of which has declined a lot in the last decade, and when you couple that with mobile money and the ability for communities to pay for the power in increments over a longer period of time, solar power has becomeb significantly more affordable than fossil fuels.

We’re looking for opportunities across new segments, such as battery storage, electric mobility and others, where you have a new technology that’s driving radical affordability.