IIX Growth Fund, a Singapore-based organisation that seeks to support high-impact enterprises for a more inclusive world, announced today that it has lead a US$1.66 million Series A fund in Bangladeshi P2P solar electricity trading platform SOLshare.
IIX brought together a consortium of investors including Silicon Valley-based innogy New Ventures LLC (the venture capital investment arm of the German utility firm innogy SE), and Portuguese utility firm EDP, to close a US$1.66 million Series A round.
The investment is the first made in Bangladesh for the firm after previously mentoring the company in 2012.
The off-grid households solar energy provider will use the funding to increase access to clean energy for over 19,000 rural households and 14,000 micro-entrepreneurs, and address climate change by avoiding over 2,200 metric tons of carbon emissions by 2021.
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SOLshare is a startup that has developed a P2P solar electricity trading platform, which solves an immediate customer problem of today — the physical access to energy. SOLshare enables customers to produce, trade, and consume this demand in a local micro grid. The company use an energy meter connected to solar panels called SOLbox, which enables electricity trading between households and micro-enterprises so that excess energy won’t go to waste and can even go back to the supply grid for distribution.
The funding from IIX Growth Fund solidifies the means to address the 700-million people across Asia Pacific that do not have any access to electricity. “With the majority of the world’s energy poor living in Asia and–like in Bangladesh–dependent on limited energy sources like imported fossil fuel and natural gas, the IIX Growth Fund chose to invest in enterprises like SOLshare that meet rising energy demands, maximize scarce resources, and ensure a sustainable future for everyone,” said Robert Kraybill, Managing Director of IIX.
According to Dr. Sebastian Groh, Managing Director of SOLshare, the new energy world is fuelled by the 5 D’s: Decentralisation, Decarbonisation, Digitisation, Democratisation & Disruption. SOLshare constantly seeks to empower households and encourage solar entrepreneurship that allows clean energy to be available for everybody, not only in Bangladesh, but eventually on a global scale.
Currently, SOLshare is working with partners such as the German Development Cooperation (GTZ), the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), Australian utility firm Origin, and Microsoft and is accepted into Technical Pioneers Program of the World Economic Forum as one of the most innovative companies with world changing technologies.