In what could be an ego boost, two solar startups from Africa received global recognition at the 2017 Global Cleantech 100.
The two, M-KOPA from Kenya and Off Grid Electric from Tanzania have cause for celebrations and have earned the bragging rights among their peers. The Global Cleantech 100 is an annual clean technology challenge that seeks to identify and recognize the top 100 most innovative and promising companies within the clean energy space.
About M-KOPA from Kenya
M-KOPA makes home solar systems targeting the low-income households and avails the solar energy on a pay-as-you-go installment plan. To get the M-KOPA solar system, the customers pays $30 as an initial down payment. Thereafter, there will be daily payments of 50 cents paid via mobile money over a period of one year.
After the one-year installment payments, the customer will fully own the M-KOPA solar system. M-KOPA launched in 2011 and now has connected over 280,000 homes across Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania. The company also says it adds an average of 500 homes to its list of M-KOPA solar powered homes daily.
M-KOPA has over the years raised a sum of $38.9 million collectively. The most recent being $19 million from London-based investment management firm, Generation Investment Management LLP.
About Off Grid Electric
Off Grid Electric was launched back in 2011. The company’s mission is to address the lack of electricity connections to people either out of the grid power being too expensive, unreliable, or complete lack of access to the grid. It does that by providing an alternative clean energy that is affordable, reliable, and efficient. Off Grid Electric supplies clean energy to about 10,000 homes per month.
It does so through a business model that enables customers to pre-pay for the energy supplied to their homes via mobile money. Off Grid Electric has over the years raised a total of $58.15 million; the most recent being $5 million grant from the United States Agency for International Development’s U.S. Global Development Lab.
Other notable offshore solar companies operating in Africa and were on the 2017 Global Cleantech 100 include BBOXX. BBOXX is a British-based solar startup that makes solar products targeting African and other markets in the developing world.