Powerhive Inc, a Nairobi-based energy solutions firm has closed $9.3m Series B round of funding to provide affordable energy and services for the 600 million consumers in Sub-Saharan Africa starting from Kenya.
The round of financing was led by Toyota Tsusho with Powerhive’s existing investors including Caterpillar Ventures James Sandler, Prelude Ventures, Tao Capital and Total Energy Ventures together with Kouros and TO.org.
According to Powerhive CEO Christopher Hornor, “We’re excited to work with Toyota Tsusho who shared our vision to build climate friendly, sustainable and profitable businesses around energy and energy enabled services for the more than 640 million people that lack reliable access to energy and other basic services. This partnership is about supporting the construction of lasting, high quality and climate friendly infrastructure in Africa, built by Africans. Africa is one of the last frontiers to build things right from the beginning.”
Toyota Tsusho Corporation, is a general trading company and member of Toyota Group. Powerhive will use the financing to reach 20,000 connections in Kenya where the company has operated rural microgrids since 2012.
Powerhive, which became Kenya’s first privately licensed electricity utility will leverage Toyota Tsusho’s expertise and footprint in Africa and will collaborate on electrical mobility products and services, reused batteries, agricultural and industrial materials to grow with the communities served by Powerhive.
“We are excited about our investment into Powerhive as it further positions Toyota Tsusho as a pioneer and innovator in Africa” said Mr. Hirata Tatsuya, Toyota Tsusho’s COO for Power Project Business Unit. “Having worked in emerging markets for the past 20 years, with 5 years spent living and working in Kenya, I have witnessed exciting energy and infrastructure transitions take place over the years. The time is right now for Kenya and Africa more broadly to leap-frog the old way of doing things and take a new and better approach to energy independence. As such, we are proud to be part of this transition in partnership with Powerhive to deliver best-in-class, affordable energy and services for the 600 million consumers in Sub-Saharan Africa.”
Another investor, Kouros will bring its expertise and energy transition investment platform to support Powerhive’s development and explore opportunities in microgrids and new energy solutions for Africa.
Powerhive develops and operates renewable microgrids that supply affordable, reliable and productive electricity to off-grid communities in emerging markets.
“We are thrilled to support Powerhive in its development. Africa is one of the most exciting energy transition frontiers, where the encounter of usages and technology leads to powerful creativity that can inspire other regions of the world. With its platform, Powerhive has a unique and powerful tool to solve energy issues in Africa.” said Florent Bergeret, Kouros’ Head of Investments.