The future of energy starts in Bangladesh. After having established the world’s first peer-to-peer solar energy grid in 2015 in a remote area of Bangladesh, the home to the world record of 5 million installed solar home systems throughout the country, SOLshare is now poised for more. The young company just announced the completion of its A-series investment round of US$ 1.66M, led by innogy New Ventures LLC, the Silicon Valley based arm of the innogy Innovation Hub, the accelerator and venture capital investment arm of the German Utility innogy SE and thus a partner for the sustainable transformation of the energy system. Portuguese utility firm EDP, and the IIX Growth Fund from Singapore complete the round, joining an exquisite group of converted note holders.
SOLshare has created a revolutionary new approach to bring affordable solar electricity to everyone in Bangladesh and beyond through its peer-to-peer solar energy trading platforms. It is now looking to expand its microgrid technology that enables communities to share and monetise energy. The SOLbox IoT meter allows for peer-to-peer electricity trading between off-grid households connected to solar panels. As more users connect over time, the SOLshare network grows in supply and allocation, empowering households to become solar entrepreneurs by selling excess energy.
The young Bangladeshi company has recently been accepted into the Technical Pioneers Program of the World Economic Forum, an annual list of the most innovative companies in the world whose technologies are world changing.
Dr. Sebastian Groh, Managing Director and Founder of ME SOLshare, said: “We strongly believe that the new energy world is fuelled by the 5 D’s: Decentralization, Decarbonization, Digitization, Democratization & Disruption. We are extremely honoured and grateful that partners from innogy, EDP,and IIX have put their trust in us in shaping this new energy future. The aim is to create efficient and dynamic local energy markets that empower households and encourage solar entrepreneurism, starting in Bangladesh, followed by India before the end of this year and eventually on a global scale.”
With this investment, the multiple award-winning company, SOLshare, will continue to grow its technical team, further advance its first mover advantage building upon its early success in the market. Through SOLshare’s partnerships, the company so far gained access to more than three million installed solar home systems in the remote areas of Bangladesh. SOLshare next aims to expand its presence in Bangladesh and India, to the rest of Asia, the region home to the majority of the world’s energy poor, with an estimated 700 million people without access to electricity.
“SOLshare´s vision and mission has immediately convinced us. We have a unique vision of the future of energy driven by the idea of disruption through digitalisation. SOLshare solves an immediate customer problem of today – the physical access to energy – and enables their customers to produce, trade and consume this demand in a local micro grid. The Bangladeshi and neighboring markets are an ideal environment for sustainable growth. We’re excited to be part of this journey“, commented Stefan Padberg, Managing Director, innogy New Ventures LLC.
ABOUT innogy New Ventures LLC
innogy Innovation Hub believes that new technologies, business models and consumption patterns will redefine the energy market of the future. We believe this future will be driven by four core global trends; decarbonisation, decentralisation, digitisation and democratisation. innogy Innovation Hub’s mission is to drive this vision for the future of energy by being a sector disruptor: by identifying the game-changing technologies, ideas, individuals and businesses that will help build that future, wherever they are, providing funding, mentoring and a platform for co-creation, collaboration and convergence.
The innogy Innovation Hub has created a €150m portfolio through investing in disruptive individuals, start-ups and early stage businesses and provided opportunities for 80+ start-up and scale-up companies to collaborate. It has innovation teams in Silicon Valley, Tel Aviv, London and Berlin.The innogy Innovation Hub and their Silicon Valley based arm innogy New Ventures LLC are funded by innogy SE, a leading German energy company, with revenues of around €43 billion (2017), more than 42,000 employees and activities in 16 countries. For more information visit: https://innovationhub.innogy.com
ABOUT Energias de Portugal (EDP)
EDP is an energy producer, distributor and retailer with 12 million customers in Portugal, Spain and Brazil. Its renewable power business is present in 14 countries including the US and Brazil. EDP Ventures is the early-stage corporate venture capital fund of the EDP Group, with the aim to support and stimulate the open innovation process in the energy sector. António Mexia, CEO of the EDP Group, is also the Chair of the Administrative Board of Sustainable Energy for All. – https://www.edp.com/en
ABOUT IIX Growth Fund
The Singapore based fund, IIX, bridges the gap between finance and development, carving out a third space for global social and environmental solutions. As a leading pioneer of impact investing in Asia, IIX builds pathways to connect the Back Streets of underserved communities to the Wall Streets of the world. – https://iixglobal.com/
ABOUT ME SOLSHARE
SOLshare is making affordable clean energy accessible to those underserved by the national energy grid and power generation system by offering the world’s first peer-to-peer solar electricity trading platform for off-grid households in Bangladesh. SOLshare’s platform interconnects users with and without solar home systems (SHS) to a smart direct-current grid, while empowering communities to be solar entrepreneurs by selling their excess energy. The company strongly believes that the smart peer to peer grids it is building in Bangladesh and India can be the future of utilities globally. – www.me-solshare.com