RVE.SOL -Portuguese startup supported by InnoEnergy- closed this Wednesday, 12 September a Series A financing round led by Egis out of France and G7 Renewable Energies (Pty) Ltd out of Cape Town, South Africa to bring their patented, pay-as-you-go minigrid “KUDURA” to rural Busia, Western Kenya. The financing round has been followed by the original seed Investors InnoEnergy and RKW.
In a strong signal that the minigrid business model may be the least cost, most viable solution to electrify the over 600 million Sub-Saharan Africans without electricity, this latest round of funding will enable RVE.SOL over the next six months to bring high-quality, renewable grid power and potable water to 15,000 people and create over 20 new direct jobs in Kenya. RVE.SOL plans to expand this life-changing impact to another 50,000 rural dwellers across East Africa by 2020.
By addressing poverty at its core – access to affordable, clean energy and water – RVE.SOL’s minigrid-based KUDURA sustainable development solution not only creates wealth for families and kickstarts small businesses, but also improves health and education while at the same time curbing deforestation and reducing CO2 emissions. KUDURA is one of the few minigrid solutions to be working reliably for over 6 years with measurable, third-party outcomes proving its social impact and a sustainable business model with PAYG metering technology paying off the cost of capital in an investor-friendly period.
“InnoEnergy is a proud supporter of RVE.SOL since 2014 and it has been very rewarding to see how the company has been building its path to scale, therefore bringing positive change to rural populations. Electricity changes everything. We are happy to be part of it”, says Mikel Lasa, CEO InnoEnergy Iberia.
Vivian Vendeirinho, founder & Managing Director of RVE.SOL, reveals he is “excited about the recent visibility and validation the minigrid business model has received as the least-cost option for rural electrification”, adding that “the entry into this business of large-scale infrastructure and commercial grid-tied energy investors, developers and infrastructure operators demonstrates that the sector is starting to be seen as a viable infrastructure business akin to developing, financing and operating long term projects like railways and national grids.”
This financing round comes after the company received a patent pending status for its KUDURA Sustainable Rural Development solution. It has been reliably deployed in Sidonge, Kenya since 2011 with a clean operation and safety record. Electricity service in the community has empowered several small businesses such as a barber shop, printing and internet services, movie theatre, mobile phone charging, a restaurant and fruit juicing / chip frying. RVE.SOL’s sustainable and scalable energy access solution demonstrates strong impact on poverty reduction, addresses a family’s or business’ entire energy needs beyond merely lighting and enables rural dwellers to change their life, positively, forever.