October 1, 2019—San Mateo, CA—Amped Innovation, a designer and manufacturer of solar-powered appliances and solar energy generation and management equipment, announced today that it has closed Series A equity funding totaling more than $3.3 million. The funding round was led by ENGIE Rassembleurs d’Energies with participation from existing seed investors Schneider Electric Ventures and FINCA Ventures, as well as other impact-aligned investors. This financing accelerates Amped’s ability to bring high-quality, affordable solar-powered appliances to market, serving growing demands from energy distribution companies, utilities and mini- and micro-grid providers for better power solutions.
A social enterprise, Amped Innovation creates products that help those living under $4 per day to increase their incomes using affordable productive use power. The company is developing a new generation of highly efficient DC appliances, focusing on televisions, cold-chain, water pumping and diesel generator replacement solutions that are affordable to low-income segments. The Series A funding will help the company bring current and future product innovations to scale. This equity capital will be used to grow its sales, manufacturing and engineering teams to support its growth as a B2B energy and appliance company working with last-mile distributors and SMEs.
With its new generation of efficient, income-generating appliances, Amped’s products spark the conversion of latent energy demand to actual demand in off-grid regions by finally making these products and power systems economically viable. There are still close to 1 billion people in emerging countries that have electricity. A significant part of the electricity demand in these regions is and will continue to be provided by distributed solar companies, thus creating new kinds of electricity distribution utility networks. Amped’s best-in-class efficient appliances meet the needs of distributors and are affordable to low-income populations, helping families move out of poverty by unlocking rural energy access.
Amped Innovation was founded in 2015 by product engineers Kurt Kuhlmann and Andi Kleissner. The company’s team has significant experience developing energy, health care, lighting and water purification products, with expertise in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. Amped designs efficient DC appliances and modular, appliance-ready solar home systems, and markets them in 23 countries across Africa and southeast Asia through local distributors, reaching over 50,000 households and benefitting approximately 250,000 lives.
“The completion of our Series A funding marks the beginning of an exciting and critical new chapter for Amped Innovation,” said Andi Kleissner, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Amped Innovation. “We’re eager to partner with distributors to scale the reach of our ultra-affordable, off-grid, power products, providing end users with energy access that starts with home lighting and scales over 10X to power small businesses, all from the same affordable WOWsolar base platform.”
Anne Chassagnette, CEO of Rassembleurs d’Energies and ENGIE Chief Sustainable Officer, stated: “Amped’s solutions address the issue of appliances adapted to distributed energy solution and thereby complement the reach of energy access enterprises currently focusing on last mile distribution. This investment is therefore fully aligned with the mission of ENGIE Rassembleurs d’Energies to promote access to sustainable energy for all.”
Gilles Vermot Desroches, SVP Sustainable Development of Schneider Electric and President of Schneider Electric Energy Access, said: “We are confident Amped Innovation will be a major contributor to the much needed off-grid energy ecosystem. Their appliances enable people to take off-grid energy to a new level and really change their lives. We are very proud to be one of Amped’s first supporters and share their efforts toward affordability and efficiency.”
Ami Dalal, Vice President and Managing Director of FINCA Ventures, added: “Amped has created a powerful product portfolio to deliver greater and more affordable productive-use power. By asking customers what they want to do with their power, we’ve seen Amped reinvigorate excitement in the sector and build a vision of a solar-powered ecosystem of products designed to replace diesel fossil fuels and power business activity in the world’s fastest growing markets.”
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About Amped Innovation: Amped Innovation delivers solar energy appliances that move people up the income ladder and bring the joy of leisure and entertainment to their homes. Amped is a B2B product design company that partners with for-profit businesses and social enterprises to provide breakthrough solar solutions to end users across Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia. Amped’s WOWsolar platform offers a power center inside a solar energy pico system and can scale “in-place” from 20 Whr to 240 Whr in a single 150W system. It supports productive use appliances for those that want to watch TV, light up their home, charge their phones, make ice, power a barber shop, preserve fish and produce, irrigate their crops and more. Visit www.AmpedInnovation.com.
About ENGIE Rassembleurs d’Energies: ENGIE Rassembleurs d’Énergies is ENGIE’s social impact investment fund that invests in projects to provide access to sustainable energy for impoverished populations. The mission of the fund is to invest in economically-viable social projects sponsored by local social entrepreneurs. The fund currently manages an active portfolio of 19 companies active on four continents. Visit www.engierassembleursdenergies.com to learn more.
About Schneider Electric: At Schneider Electric, we believe access to energy and digital is a basic human right. We empower all to make the most of their energy and resources, ensuring Life Is On everywhere, for everyone, at every moment. We provide energy and automation digital solutions for efficiency and sustainability. We combine world-leading energy technologies, real-time automation, software and services into integrated solutions for Homes, Buildings, Data Centers, Infrastructure and Industries. We are committed to unleash the infinite possibilities of an open, global, innovative community that is passionate about our Meaningful Purpose, Inclusive and Empowered values. Visit www.se.com.
About FINCA Ventures: FINCA Ventures is an impact investing initiative of FINCA International that leverages a global microfinance network to catalyze market-based solutions to poverty. It does so by providing patient capital and pre- and post-investment support to high-impact, early-stage social enterprises that offer affordable, high-quality and life-enhancing products and services for low-income families. For more information, visit www.FINCAVentures.com or follow us on Twitter @FINCA.