Acumen, the global non-profit venture group, has teamed up with OPES Impact Fund, Persistent Energy Capital and HERi Africa and made an investment in Devergy, a Tanzanian-based energy services company that provides village-sized solar powered micro-grid electricity to households and businesses. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
The company’s efficient, low‐powered grid meets consumer demand at a fraction of the cost of the investment of a conventional mini-grid or national grid. Devergy leverages smart metering and cloud‐based monitoring technology to tackle non-payment and energy theft issues that face the operators of both national and mini-grid providers. The company uses a “pay-as-you-go” utility model and, to date, has connected more than 800 households on 6 villages.
The company designed their business model by patterning their customers’ prepayment for energy services with their payment for kerosene and pre-paid SIM cards. Customers can “top up” their energy supply anytime in their villages via a Devergy agent or by purchasing credit directly from their phones.
“Acumen is very proud to make its first investment in the energy sector in Tanzania,“ said Duncan Onyango, Acumen’s Director for East Africa. “We firmly believe that access to energy brings positive transformative change, especially to rural populations and see Devergy as the long-term, innovative partner that will provide these much needed services to Tanzania and the rest of east Africa.”