African Bitcoin miner, Gridless raises $2m seed in round led by Jack Dorsey’s Block

Adeniyi Odukoya
The investment will support the company’s further expansion of bitcoin mines across African markets…
African Bitcoin miner, Gridless raises $2M in funding led by Block

Gridless, a bitcoin mining company in East Africa, helping to bring new energy generation to rural communities, announced today that it secured a $2 million seed investment round.

Venture capital investor Stillmark and Block, co-founded by Jack Dorsey, led the round, in addition to an angel round led by Factor[e]. The investment will support the company’s further expansion of bitcoin mines across African markets.

Gridless designs, build and operates bitcoin mining sites alongside small-scale renewable energy producers in African rural communities where excess energy is unused.

Mining cryptocurrencies consumes so much energy. Bitcoin mining is the most intense and energy-consuming process because it involves computers that require a lot of electricity to secure the digital asset’s blockchain by approving transaction data and releasing tokens as incentives. 

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For instance, Bitcoin, the world’s biggest and most purchased cryptocurrency, consumes an estimated 150 terawatt-hours of electricity annually—more than the entire country of Argentina, with a population of 45 million. Other reports claim that the yearly energy consumption involved in Bitcoin mining surpasses the amount some countries like Belgium consume. 

African Bitcoin miner, Gridless raises $2M in funding to increase energy access

This move by Block Inc is an attempt to get a grip on properly decentralizing and preserving mining activities. Alongside this push for sustainability, it has acquired the service of experienced and knowledgeable crypto-mining engineers and managers to take charge of its mining sector and build projects that encourage many people to mine Bitcoin.

Most of the computing energy fuelling Bitcoin mining is generated from industrial-scale hubs.

Gridless plan to increase bitcoin mines across African markets

Gridless has contracted five project pilots in rural Kenya with HydroBox, an African hydroelectric energy company, three of which are currently operational. Gridless plans to expand to other parts of East Africa soon, it said.

African Bitcoin miner, Gridless raises $2M in funding to increase energy access
Investment

The gains of mining are primarily determined by the expenses procured on energy. Over time, the industry has been a helpless and pathetic victim of incessant high electricity prices, a 66% slide in Bitcoin over the past year and stiff competition.

Gridless is a Kenyan-based bitcoin mining firm seeking to usher new energy generation to African rural communities. The investment by Stillmark and Block Inc means that Gridless’ goal of expanding bitcoin mines across African markets will be realised. 

“Africa needs affordable electricity,” said Erik Hersman, CEO of Gridless. “Our work in supporting renewable energy mini-grid developers fills a gap, helping developers expand faster, be more sustainable, and serve thousands of households. This investment, and the high calibre of partners that are coming alongside us, means that we can accelerate our rollout knowing that we have both the capital and strategic support required.” 

The company plans to expand to other geographies in East Africa in the near future. “Stillmark is focused on investing in companies that are helping to advance the Bitcoin ecosystem in ways that offer sustainable value and solutions to many,” says Alyse Killeen, Managing Partner at Stillmark. 

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“Gridless does this by bringing a socially and environmentally conscious approach to bitcoin mining, one that provides tangible benefits by way of access to electricity for communities in rural parts of East Africa.

The Gridless leadership team comprises veteran entrepreneurs in the technology space with substantial roots in the region. They are well-respected amongst their colleagues and peers, and we are excited about the opportunity to support their efforts further.”

“Block is keenly focused on helping to accelerate global renewable hash rate. Gridless represents a close strategic alignment with our vision of ensuring the bitcoin network increasingly leverages clean energy, in combination with bitcoin computational centres around the world,” said Thomas Templeton, Lead for bitcoin mining and wallet at Block.

“This work can support positive community externalities while also helping to secure the distributed infrastructure behind bitcoin’s monetary ecosystem.”


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