This startup has raised $12m to distribute renewable energy in Africa with AI

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September 4, 2023
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2 min read
solar-energy renewable energy

The news:

  • Australia-based Okra Solar has raised $12 million to provide electricity in Africa with its mesh-grid system.
  • The Series A funding round was led by At One Ventures, with participation from other investors.
  • The company plans to use the funding to propel its mesh-grid technology and electrify rural areas.

Okra Solar's $12 million Series A is made up of a $7.8 million equity round led by At One Ventures with participation from other investors such as FMO, Susquehanna Private Equity Investments LLLP, the Autodesk Foundation, and King Philanthropies. The debt funding was provided by EDFi.

Okra Solar wants to use the funding to propel its mesh-grid technology, that distributes technology among households with artificial intelligence.

The mesh-grid technology solves the problem of scalability when it comes to efficient power distribution.

How does Okra Solar's mesh-grid technology work?

When Solar power is generated in someone's home, the mesh-grid technology allows excess power to be redistributed through Okra Solar's smart algorithms.

The mesh grids enable the distribution of power from a source that is already close to multiple sources instead of generating power from a central source and distributing it over long distances.

According to the company, distributing power over short distances among neighbouring homes cuts the cost of electricity distribution by 90%.

Launched in 2016, Okra Solar operates a B2B model that supplies the technology to last-mile energy utilities, who then use it to supply power to last-mile households.

The technology has already been deployed in four countries and is serving 14,000 people.

“In Nigeria, our technology has been approved for subsidies from a $550 million fund put together by the World Bank, African Development Bank, and the Rural Electrification Agency.  CEO, Afnan Hannan, told Business Day.

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With the cost of connecting people without central grids estimated to cost $17 billion annually between now and 2030, Okra Solar's solution could connect 592 million Africans without electricity at a lower cost.

Okara Solar's $12 million Series A is coming a year and three months after it raised $3 million intending to electrify 290,000 Nigerian homes.

CEO Hannan said in a statement to Techpoint Africa that "we need the regulations to keep up with exponential technology advancement for us to hit 100% electrification by 2030,”

He's a geek, a sucker for Blockchain and an all-round tech lover. Find me on Twitter @BoluAbiodun1.
He's a geek, a sucker for Blockchain and an all-round tech lover. Find me on Twitter @BoluAbiodun1.
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He's a geek, a sucker for Blockchain and an all-round tech lover. Find me on Twitter @BoluAbiodun1.

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