Okra Solar Closes AU $3 Million in Pre-Series A Round

Okra Solar, an Australian deep-tech renewable energy company, and previous winner of the TechCrunch Hardware Battlefieldpicked up the US $2.1 million to scale their distribution of IoT-enabled Mesh-Grids to power the 770 million people living off-grid worldwide.

SYDNEYJune 23, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Two family offices, Explorer Investments and we have to learnled the $2.1 million investment round in Okra Solar, next to Schneider Electric Energy AccessAutodesk Foundation

SDGxa private technology fund and advisory group for the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which invests exclusively in companies that have the potential to reduce or eliminate 500MT of greenhouse gas emissions per year over the next ten years, also invested.

From left to right: Okra COO, Callum Yap and CEO, Afnan Hannan, after winning the TechCrunch Hardware Battlefield competition in Shenzhen 2019

Okra Solar’s proprietary hardware and software solutions provide access to productive and renewable electricity around the world: NigeriaPhilippinesHaiti and Cambodia

The $2.1 million funding will be used to scale commercial operations and product development as Okra Solar expands everywhere Nigeria and Haiti

Afnan HannanCEO of Okra Solar says: “It feels great to secure this funding so we can accelerate our growth. We are excited to continue to provide energy access for the 770 million people living in off-grid communities. Our Mesh-Grids leverage IoT and automation to make last-mile electrification affordable and sustainable – even for the world’s most remote villages. Our innovation has fueled global utility demand.”

Okra Solar is now opening its Serie A round. It has already held discussions with a number of strategic investors, with the expectation that it will come to an end $6 million to accelerate product distribution in key markets.

Okra Solar’s focus market is: Nigeria, a nation with abundant sunlight and the largest non-electrified population of about 80 million people. The country sees a number of technologies, such as mobile money and device financing, merging to disrupt conventional approaches to creating social impact. There are more than 100 private energy development companies deploying off-grid energy solutions and Okra Solar partners with some of the most innovative players: SAO CapitalCreed’s EnergyKonexaand First electric – when launching Mesh-Grids in remote areas.

Recently, Okra Solar also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with SAO Group to scale up their existing projects to 290,000 additional homes over the next three years. If this partnership achieves its goals, it will be the largest project in the world to power off-grid households with decentralized grids.

Recently, Nigeria has undergone a policy change that incentivizes private utilities to provide energy services by leveraging competitive business models. Nigeria now features some of the best private utilities and a $550 million NEP off-grid financing program (de National Electrification Program,) funded by the African Development Bank and the World Bank.

Okra Solar’s Mesh-Grid technology, previously deployed through UN-funded programs, has been approved for grants by the NEP to help energy developers recoup more than half of their capex spending after deploying Mesh-Grids.

Benoitt JacqueminInnovation VP for Industrial Automation BU at Schneider Electric says: “Okra Solar is an exciting investment for us to support as they leverage ubiquitous mobile connectivity to enable automation, remote monitoring and dramatically lower costs of operating last-mile households over traditional energy sources. company is well positioned to be the leading electrification technology in rural areas in the coming years.Lack of access to energy affects more than 770 million people – all of whom are currently in limbo.To reach these communities, innovative approaches are required to overcome the high costs of transmission cables and regular maintenance.”

Michael Anthony Papicsays director of Pteah Baitong: “The Okra Mesh-Grid technology platform leverages plug-and-play hardware along with the award-winning Harvest software. Harvest allows us to monitor our entire network of assets remotely. We can quickly identify field issues with the simplified insights provided generated by the IoT devices allowing our local maintenance agents to fix our hardware at the first sign of a problem, helping us keep operating costs low and ultimately providing more affordable and reliable energy for our last-mile households.”

Zarmeen Pavri, Partner and Chief Impact Officer of SDGx says:: “We are delighted to invest in and support Okra Solar as it is rare for an Australian company to scale so successfully in many international markets so quickly. Okra Solar brings an impact multiplier that crosses and positively contributes to access to energy (SDG #7), better health outcomes (SDG#3) and gender outcomes (SDG#5). This is a great example of how an impact multiplier also drives scaling up with commercial outcomes, while solving global greenhouse gas emissions and climate change problems.”

Okra Solar has supplied more than 5,000 people with energy (SDG #7), offsets 978 tons of CO2 emissions per year (SDGs #13 & #7), has given 1,576 children access to reliable lighting needed to study after sunset ( SDG #1 & #4), enabled 1,900 women to reduce cooking time through access to e-cooking equipment and refrigeration (SDG #5), and saved 3,940 individuals from exposure to harmful and carcinogenic gases from burning kerosene, diesel and wood (SDG #3 ).

Okra Solar’s work has been recognized by Forbes, Cleantech Group’s 100-to-Watch 2021, the World Economic Forum Technology Pioneers and Web Summit where Okra won the People’s Choice Award in 2021.

About Okra Solar

There are more than 770 million people worldwide who do not have access to modern energy services. Okra provides IoT and AI-enabled hardware and software to last-mile energy companies, enabling them to profitably power remote off-grid communities. Okra’s technology allows all assets – from solar panels to batteries to inverters – to be distributed and interconnected as a mesh grid where power is shared autonomously to reduce the chance of blackout and maximize the total energy available for each household. enlarge. Grid operators use Okra’s software to monitor, maintain, operate and receive payments from end users via the cloud, while scaling projects and building a profitable business.

About Schneider Electric

Schneider’s goal is to empower everyone to get the most out of our energy and resources, building a bridge between progress and sustainability for all. We call this Life Is On. Our mission is to be your digital partner for sustainability and efficiency. We drive digital transformation by integrating leading process and energy technologies, end-point-to-cloud connecting products, controls, software and services, across the entire lifecycle, enabling integrated business management for homes, buildings, data centers, infrastructure and industries.

We are the most local of the global companies. We are advocates of open standards and partnership ecosystems who are passionate about our shared values ​​of meaningful purpose, inclusive and empowerment.

About Pteah Baitong

Pteah Baitong is on a mission to help vulnerable and disadvantaged Cambodians through renewable energy projects and last-mile distribution of solar irrigation pumps. the government of Cambodia plans to electrify 99.5% of villages by the end of 2023. These remaining 200+ villages urgently need private sector support to provide reliable electricity. Pteah Baitong fills this gap by providing non-electrified villages with solar Mesh Grids using hardware and software from Okra Solar. In addition, a large number of smallholders do not have access to reliable electricity in their fields, forcing them to use highly polluting petrol and diesel engines to irrigate their crops. Pteah Baitong provides smallholder farmers with high quality solar irrigation pumps suitable for farms up to one acre. Their pumps are packaged with a 10-year parts and labor warranty and affordable PAYGO financing starting at just 1 USD per day.


Photos are available here

SOURCE Okra Solar

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