May 2022

Europe’s highest scoring B Corp closes catalysing €3.5M equity investment round from, MolGen, and Uber founding engineer Conrad Whelan’s Spirit River Atlas 

African Clean Energy (ACE) is a rapidly growing B Corp enterprise focused on enabling decentralised access to clean energy for households in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia. They are currently operating in Lesotho, Cambodia, Kenya and Uganda. 

Our vision is a world where clean energy and connectivity is for everyone.

Our mission is to eliminate the worst forms of poverty on a platform of clean energy and smartphone technology.

The ACE One energy system is an integral energy solution for off-the-grid households in the developing world. The device uses a combination of thermal and electric generation to provide a clean, smokeless cooking experience for its users. The solar-powered electricity it generates can also be used for phone charging and lighting. ACE manufactures in Lesotho and Cambodia, with a third facility opening in Uganda in 2022.

The Investors is an impact investing fund with a mission to build a more sustainable world. Founded by Boudewijn Poelmann, the fund solves social and environmental challenges by investing in start-ups and scale-ups that are actively contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals. 

“With this investment we hope to solve multiple challenges faced by people in developing countries”, says Boudewijn Poelmann, investment manager at “From providing a safe cooking environment to enabling households with having their own renewable energy system, African Clean Energy is on a mission to better the world. We are excited to embark on this journey with ACE and facilitate the company in improving the lives of millions of people”. 

MolGen is a global total solution provider of innovative extraction DNA / RNA technology. 

MolGen offers hardware, reagents, consumables, software and service for human and animal diagnostics, the agriculture and biotech industries. 

MolGen’s values: Transparency, Accountability, Can-do-mentality, Integrity and Community are also translated into our CSR values contributing to environmental health, supply chain sustainability and commit on a social level with the pillars: Climate action, Good health and wellbeing and Social responsibility.

CEO and co-founder of MolGen: Maarten de Groot: “ACE is for MolGen a first big step in CSR that is a perfect example of the combination of our three pillars. We believe in ACE as part of our value, an investment for our planet and company. We are looking forward to have a fruitful collaboration so together we can make more steps in CSR”

Spirit River Atlas: The fund of founding Uber engineer Conrad Whelan and managed by ex-Silicon Valley operator Roel Nuyts. Spirit River Atlas was drawn to the ACE proposition for the hidden carbon offset potential aligned with all the humanitarian benefits.

The Investment

Ruben Walker (CEO of ACE) “The main goal for this €3.5M equity investment is to bring our energy access model into the climate fintech space. We’re investing in the digital technologies that will create sustainable and feasible energy-as-a-service models across our markets. The goal is to ensure we’re catalysing a virtuous cycle that transitions communities from unsustainable biomass reliance to affordable, local and sustainable biomass fuel supply chains that benefit all stakeholders.” 

“Our business model is built in a way that means the absolute priority is happy customers transitioning to better, cleaner and more sustainable use of biomass in a real and measurable way. There are endless opportunities to create decent work, ensure our customers are rewarded for the impact they generate and invest in local sustainable fuel economies. It’s a very exciting time to be scaling something that generates so much impact on so many levels.”

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For more information you can contact Judith Walker at

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ACE is grateful to have worked with support from PowerAfrica, enabling Norton Rose Fulbright to provide legal advice for the round.