Affordable solar energy system for Africa raises £113,000 on Crowdcube

Shamba Technologies targeted at 110 million households in sub-saharan Africa without power

A start-up that has developed an affordable solar energy system targeted at African households without electricity today completed a pitch on equity crowdfunding platform Crowdcube, raising a total of £113,000.

Shamba Technologies, founded by Edward Moss and Oliver Kynaston, has developed a modular power system targeted at the estimated 110 million households in Sub-Saharan Africa not connected to the electricity grid.

Its ‘io’ solar set includes a solar panel, battery, electronic control system and appliances such as bulbs, mobile phones and torches, and is designed as an affordable alternative to the high upfront cost of traditional solar energy systems.

World Bank figures indicate that 97% of the 110 million households in Africa not connected to the electricity grid spend around £46 on lighting and £10 on mobile phone charging annually.

The organisation forecasts a 75% annual growth rate in sales of small solar panel products over the coming years, which Shamba hopes to capitalise on with its system.

The £113,000 Crowdcube pitch will be used to fund mass-market production of the solar devices and launch the product in its initial market of Tanzania.

Ed Matos and Oliver Kynaston said in a statement: “We are delighted with the reception Shamba Technologies has received on Crowdcube. The fundraising means we are now well set for our intended product launch in Tanzania in early 2015.

“Our recent prototype trials there have demonstrated the robustness of the io™ solar modules, and we are confident that our pricing strategy will be competitive and affordable. We are excited about bringing light and energy to people’s homes who have simply not had this opportunity before, and we believe it offers a chance to substantially increase their quality of life.”

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