MPower, a Switzerland-based tech4impact venture tackling the challenges of energy access and financial inclusion in Africa has raised $430,000) via British crowdfunding platform Crowdcube to help it upgrade its software, scale-up operations in its current markets and launch into three new markets by the end of the year.
MPower, which had over 2,000 end-users in Cameroon, Togo and Zambia by end of last year, was founded in 2017 in Zurich, creates a B2B platform to empower local partners to finance and deploy affordable clean energy to households and SMEs.
In an earlier statement, Manuel Seiffe, Co-founder and CEO of Mpower said: “Demand is high, and technology costs are continuously declining. To capitalize on this opportunity, we plan to use the newly raised funds to grow sales in existing markets and enter new ones. Moreover, we will focus on enhancing our software and data solution and develop new partnerships for off-balance-sheet financing of our working capital.”
MPower provides Plug&Play solar kits and energy-efficient appliances for domestic and productive use and software to track and digitize all operations. The firm also leverages data to improve financial inclusion of its end-users and offers access to financing to both its partners and end-users, making clean energy affordable to everyone. After evaluating a customer’s creditworthiness, the firm provides financing for them to purchase equipment through lease-to-own agreements with terms as long as three years.
The a B2B impact and fintech start-up addressing the pressing challenges of financial inclusion and energy access in emerging markets addresses a market of 1.3 bn potential customers globally with 600 million of this in Africa and 300 million in India. The firm first kicked off its operations in Cameroon and Zambia following its first partnership agreement in Zambia in 2017. The following year it expanded into Cameroon.
The firm has also received contributions from the DFID – UK Department for International Development. It’s EnergyHub -a 10kW plug and play solar charging station for small solar generators, have been deployed in Zambia and Cameroon. In Cameroon, MPower’s ErnergyHub has been deployed on over 700,000 cocoa farms working under Barry Callebaut, the largest chocolate producers in the world. Mpower plans Ethiopia, Namibia, Botswana, and Mali.