Portugal-based RVE.Sol closes a Series A financing round of €2.5 million led by Egis from France and G7 Renewable Energies from South Africa, to bring clean water and electricity to 15,000 people in Kenya.
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.
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 community jobs in Kenya. RVE.Sol then plans to expand this life-changing impact to another 50,000 rural dwellers across East Africa by 2020.
“Seven years since we started out, we are excited about the recent visibility and validation the minigrid business model has received as the least-cost option for rural electrification,” said RVE.Sol Founder and Managing Director, Vivian Vendeirinho in a statement.
“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,” he added.
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.
“RVE.Sol’s pioneering technology, experience and innovative business model constitute for G7 the ideal platform to deploy rapidly and at scale grid-compliant minigrids across Africa,” said G7 director Nicolas Rolland in a statement.
There is a huge opportunity in electrification in Africa and we are excited to be part of it,” he added.
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.
“Our investment in RVE.Sol demonstrates Egis’ faith in and commitment to the distributed energy sector. With more and more mini-grid sites going live, such as those being delivered by RVE.Sol in Kenya, we feel that there is a real interesting market opportunity that answers to the people’s needs,” Rik Joosten, CEO of Egis Projects.
“We expect that the market will reach rapidly sufficient scale that such projects will gain access to more competitive financing arrangements, making the minigrid business model truly sustainable,” he added.
Portugal Startups reported on Friday that RVE.Sol, which is responsible for a technology that provides renewable energy to several rural communities in Africa, will also be building power grids in 15 communities in Kenya within the next year and a half.
“The investment will allow [us] to build power plants in 15 communities over the next 18 months,” Vendeirinho told Portuguese news outlet Observador.
“We are talking about 20% of people with access to energy, usually through national networks, in African countries, and we have 80% of a population that does not have access to energy. We think this is a very interesting market when applied in countries that may have income for this purpose.”
What is KUDURA?
KUDURA (meaning “the power to change” in Swahili) is a reliable, proven and scaleable minigrid utility hub for remote areas with a 20 year lifetime guarantee. It is fully customizable to provide pre-paid electricity, biogas, biofertiliser and clean drinking water to rural villages, schools, clinics, farms, agricultural and industrial factories and commercial businesses.
The system is a plant installed in a container, which allows communities access to drinking water, electricity and biogas at more affordable prices without the use of kerosene, batteries and firewood or coal.
The KUDURA 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 working reliably for over six years with measurable, third-party outcomes proving its social impact and a sustainable business model, paying off the cost of capital in an investor-friendly period.