OffGridBox, a startup providing renewable power and clean water, has just raised $1.6 million in seed funding round. The round was led by the Doen and Good Energies Foundations, in partnership with Banque Populaire du Rwanda.
Founded by Emiliano Cecchini and Davide Bonsignore, the startup provides solar powered boxes (measuring 6 by 6) to allow a small community access to both electricity (in the form of charged batteries) and also to clean and filter water for general use.
Building each box costs about $15,000 and an extra $10,000 to deliver and install. So far the startup has installed 38 boxes. However, most of those were during its pilot project when it sold to individuals who wanted off-the-grid power for profit. But now, OffGridBoy has decided to make a social impact with the solution and it chose Rwanda for such impact.
“In addition to the success of various pilot projects, Rwanda’s support for green technology and innovation made it ideal for OffGridBox to start the PayAsYouGo model,” Cecchini explained.
According to TechCrunch, the funding alongside a series A planned for 2019, would support the deployment of a total of 42 box installations in Rwandan communities.
“This will help us become a major player in the energy and water markets in Rwanda while empowering women entrepreneurs, fighting biocontamination for improved health, and introducing lighting in rural homes,” Cecchini says.
The company hopes to deploy as many as 1,000 of its boxes throughout Rwanda with plans to deploy as many as 100 boxes a year. This would allow it bring clean water and power to as many as 100,000 more people.
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