Swedish crowd-investment platform for profitable solar energy projects TRINE has raised 6 million EUR in Series A funding to scale its operations in East Africa and Europe and expand the crowd-investing platform’s funding capacity to reach more people.
The funding round was led by venture investor, Gullspång Invest with participation from Andrew Reicher, the Chairman of Berkeley Energy Africa, and Lars Thunell, the former CEO of the International Finance Corporation.
According to Sam Manaberi, CEO and Founder of TRINE: “This funding round, led by Gullspång Invest, allows us to scale our business by opening multiple projects across the TRINE platform, thereby attracting greater numbers of crowd-investors who want to fund solar energy projects with impact.”
“As a long-term investor with a great reputation in the market, Gullspång Invest will be a great fit in accelerating our growth and helping us achieve our goals. They invest in meaningful businesses, and they have an excellent portfolio of companies that we look forward to learning from.”
One in five people on the planet do not have access to electricity, but it does not have to be like that. TRINE is on track to eliminate energy poverty for 66 million people within the next 5 years, and over the next 24 months. The increased operations will see the TRINE platform channel 100 million EUR of crowd-investment into solar energy projects.
Before this raise, the firm in October 2016 said it was raising 3,500,000 EUROS ($3.7m) to scale its operations in East Africa. This raise will help it sign up more solar partners, who use the site to raise working capital from crowd-investors to be able to offer affordable and reliable solar energy to local communities. The fintech firm helps to relieve the pressure of up-front costs, whilst encouraging people to abandon the traditional use of expensive and harmful fuels.
“We aim to bring solar energy to the 1.2 billion people in need of access to electricity and make it easy for people to make a social and environmental impact while also earning a return on their investment,” said Sam Manaberi, founder and CEO Trine. ”We had a seed round of 5 million SEK at the beginning of 2016. Our next major step, in terms of funding, is our A-round. We’re currently in the raising process, and we’re targeting around 3.5 million EUR to allow us to scale as planned.”
Sam added that Trine is fully focused on building its platform and scaling globally.
Founded in 2015 in Gothenburg, Sweden, TRINE is democratising the finance of solar energy and creating a new for-profit business model that serves as a virtuous circle; benefiting investors, helping solar companies scale their businesses, and providing rural communities with the clean, renewable energy that they so sorely need.
With operations in Nairobi, Kenya, the fintech startup removes the issue of upfront expensive costs to local communities with its crowd-investing model, which gives people the opportunity to support solar energy projects while also delivering a return on investment. The minimum amount one can invest per project is 25 EUR. The firm has already catalysed more than 1 million EUR of crowd-investments for thirteen off-grid projects in six Sub-Saharan countries, empowering over 120,000 people to escape energy poverty.
Magnus Brandberg, Partner at Gullspång Invest, adds: “As a family-owned investment company, we think in generations rather than quarters, which means we prefer to provide companies with patient funding, in addition to time and advice when needed. Globally, there are over one billion people still lacking access to electricity, and we will do the best we can to help TRINE tackle this challenge, and work towards a world without energy poverty, no matter how long it takes.”
TRINE intends to provide 66 million people access to clean energy by 2022, saving 8 million tons of CO2 emissions annually.