The solar energy firm has developed the world’s first peer-to-peer solar electricity trading platform for off-grid households
Bangladesh-based off-grid solar energy firm SOLshare has closed a $1.66 million Series A round to bring the world’s first peer-to-peer solar electricity trading platform to rural communities.
Three new investors participated in the round, including Singapore-based IIX Growth Fund, Silicon Valley-based innogy New Ventures LLC –the venture capital investment arm of the German utility firm innogy SE – and Portuguese utility firm EDP.
The funding will be used to increase access to clean energy for over 19,000 rural households and 14,000 micro-entrepreneurs; and it will address climate change by avoiding over 2,200 metric tons of carbon emissions by 2021, according to a press release issued by SOLshare.
SOLshare has developed the world’s first peer-to-peer solar electricity trading platform for off-grid households—making affordable, clean energy accessible to everyone.
IIX Managing Director Robert Kraybill said: “Access to modern, clean energy is essential not only for reducing poverty, but also for building more inclusive, resilient communities.
"With the majority of the world’s energy-poor living in Asia, we’re thrilled to have SOLshare as the IIX Growth Fund’s first investment in Bangladesh.”
SOLshare Managing Director Sebastian Groh said: “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 entrepreneurship–starting in Bangladesh, followed by India before the end of this year, and eventually on a global scale.”
SOLshare is also working with partners such as: the German Development Cooperation (GIZ), the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), Australian utility firm Origin, and Microsoft.
Bangladesh has five million solar home systems installed–more than any other country in the world. However, more than half of Bangladesh’s population has no, or only poor, access to electricity— and demand has reached nearly double the country’s generating capacity.