IIX Impact Partners, a debt and equity crowdfunding platform, announced that it has helped Bangladesh-based clean energy firm SOLshare close a $1.1 million (~₹81.9 million) financing round that will help fund smart solar microgrids to off-grid, underserved communities in the country.
IIX’s press statement said that the investors who participated in the funding round included innogy New Ventures LLC – the venture capital investment arm of the German utility firm innogy SE— along with the investment arm of Portuguese utility firm EDP Ventures, as well as other angel investors from around the world.
The statement added that this investment would enable SOLshare to help around 2.5 million people by 2023.
“The SOLshare team had been working on a financing round for many months, and COVID-19 was an additional unexpected challenge. Thanks to the tremendous support of existing investors, support partners, and mentors, the company was able to move forward,” said Sebastian Groh, Managing Director of SOLshare.
“We’re thrilled that investors recognize the critical need on the ground, especially in some of the most vulnerable communities in the world who risk losing access to clean energy as well as the great potential SOLshare has to show the path into a better energy future,” Groh added.
Previously, Mercom reported that Impact Investment Exchange Asia (IIX global), the parent company of IIX Impact Partners, announced an investment of $1.66 million (~₹123.7 million) under Series A round from the IIX Growth Fund into SOLshare. This was IIX global’s first investment in Bangladesh. SOLshare had developed a peer-to-peer solar electricity trading platform for off-grid households.
More recently, a report published by the World Bank and GOGLA (Global Off-Grid Lighting Association) showed that the off-grid solar industry has been showing robust growth and has grown into a $1.75 billion (~₹130.44 billion) annual market. The report said that around 180 million off-grid solar units had been sold worldwide since 2010.
In June, the Asian Development Bank signed a deal with Spectra Solar Park Limited to invest $17.7 million (~₹1.33 billion) in a 35 MW utility-scale solar project in Bangladesh. This is the beginning of a new era in Bangladesh as it is one of the first private sector solar projects in the country financed by a multilateral institution.
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Nithin Thomas is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Previously with Reuters News, he has covered oil, metals and agricultural commodity markets across global markets. He has also covered refinery and pipeline explosions, oil and gas leaks, Atlantic region hurricane developments, and other natural disasters. Nithin holds a Masters Degree in Applied Economics from Christ University, Bangalore and a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce from Loyola College, Chennai. More articles from Nithin.