EDP Ventures, through one of its investment vehicles created by the EDP group to support and invest in innovative and specialized startups in the energy sector, has just invested $500,000 in SOLshare, a Bangladeshi company that has developed a new solution that facilitates the creation and management of micro-electric networks to bring solar energy to homes without access to the grid in an accessible and sustainable way.
This startup has developed and commercializes a solution that is installed in homes with distributed generation systems, such as solar panels, and that allows for the transaction of energy credits between various dwellings.
In this way, it is possible to move from a scenario in which citizens only have energy from their small solar panel to the creation of micro-networks where peer-to-peer transactions are carried out between homes and small businesses.
This solution, dubbed Solbox, also allows new businesses to be created through the redistribution of energy from dwellings with an excess of energy due to not having daytime consumption to other houses or commercial establishments which can benefit from this energy when it is not necessary for the producer.
Solbox will be installed in more than 5,000 houses in Bangladesh by the end of 2018, which will allow it to bring energy to families in a more efficient way.
The SOLshare team is permanently in Bangladesh, where there are more than 5 million small solar systems in homes and more than 50 million people who do not yet have access to the grid.
“We are very pleased to help leverage the remarkable work of this startup, which works at the intersection of two very important areas for the EDP group, universal access to sustainable energy and efficient use of residential solar generation. EDP Ventures made this investment taking into account the quality of the management team and the contribution that its peer-to-peer technology and business model can have on the universalization of micro-generation solutions," emphasizes Luís Manuel, administrator of EDP Innovation.
“We believe that the smart peer-to-peer networks we are building in Bangladesh may be the future for utilities globally. The 5 million solar home systems that we are starting to interconnect here are just the beginning. We are extremely proud that EDP and other partners have decided to join us on this exciting journey," says SOLshare CEO Sebastian Groh.
SOLshare is one of the finalists in this year's edition of Free Electrons, the world's largest energy company accelerator, of which EDP is a founding member. It was in this program that the company captured the attention of EDP Ventures, both for the quality of the team and for the positive results of the installations carried out to date. EDP has invested $500,000 in an extended $ 2 million investment round.
SOLshare has recently been accepted into the Technical Pioneers program of the World Economic Forum, a community made up of companies with high potential to make a positive impact on the economy and society.
EDP Ventures was created in 2008 to act as a risk capital instrument of the EDP group and has already invested more than 27 million euros, currently including 19 Portuguese and foreign startup companies in its portfolio.These companies currently generate around 40 million euros in revenue per year and have already created more than 500 jobs.
The investment now made in this startup is fully aligned with the strategy defined by EDP in the area of universal access to sustainable energy. In a world where around 1 billion people remain without access to energy, the group has been actively involved in the debate and creation of concrete solutions to meet one of today's greatest challenges and where decarbonization will be an important driver.