Off Grid Electric raises US$25 million to provide solar power to homes in Africa

PV Magazine
October 22, 2015

BYCHRISTIAN ROSELUND

OGE’s C round is the largest ven­ture cap­i­tal fund­ing round for dis­trib­uted ener­gy in Africa to date. The com­pa­ny is cur­rent­ly deploy­ing 10,000 home solar sys­tems per month in Tan­za­nia using a leas­ing mod­el.

Off Grid Elec­tric has recent­ly entered its sec­ond nation­al mar­ket in Rwan­da.

Most of the solar deployed to date has been in wealthy nations in West­ern Europe, the Unit­ed States and Japan, as a means to sub­sti­tute dirt­i­er sources of elec­tric­i­ty. How­ev­er, solar pow­er holds huge promise for res­i­dents of the devel­op­ing world, not only a means of clean pow­er, but as a means of elec­tri­fi­ca­tion.

To date, many of these efforts have been at a rel­a­tive­ly small scale, and busi­ness­es from the devel­oped world are chal­lenged by work­ing in an envi­ron­ment that is very dif­fer­ent than that in their home nations.

At least one com­pa­ny seems to be meet­ing these chal­lenges and scal­ing its oper­a­tions to access this vast, most­ly untapped mar­ket of the more than one bil­lion peo­ple glob­al­ly who do not have reli­able access to elec­tric­i­ty.

On Thurs­day, Off Grid Elec­tric announced that it had raised US$25 mil­lion in a series C invest­ment round, led by DBL Part­ners. Join­ing DBL are new and return­ing investors, includ­ing the pri­vate invest­ment firm of Microsoft co-Founder Paul Allen and eBay Founder Pierre Omidyar’s fund Omid­yar Net­work.

DBL Part­ners Founder and Man­ag­ing Part­ner Nan­cy Pfund says that the com­pa­ny has a set of strengths that make it suit­ed to this work.

To read the full arti­cle, vis­it PV Mag­a­zine.