Beacon Power Services raises $2.7M to improve access to electricity in sub-Saharan African cities

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According to the data, Sub-Saharan Africa accounted for 77% of the global population without access to electricity in 2020. reports. In addition, the average daily electricity supply in some of Africa’s largest cities is less than 12 hours. As a result, individuals and businesses are finding other options and substitutes, such as generators, to solve their electricity problems; however, these solutions can either be costly to use or affect the climate.

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While solar grids and panels are another viable option and have attractive end-user use cases, there is still scope for launching products targeted at power distribution companies and this is where Lighthouse food services (BTS) is playing. The energy technology company, which provides data and network management solutions to help Africa’s energy sector distribute electricity more efficiently, announced today that it has closed a $2.7 million seed round.

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Founder and Chief Executive Officer Bimbola Adisa, an aerospace engineer, founded the company in 2014 after working for several years as a power turbine manufacturer and as an investment banker in the US energy sector. More recently, most of its clients have included electrical utilities, service providers and manufacturers. In an interview with TechCrunch, he said that the experience gave him the opportunity to become familiar with the application of technology in the energy sector, and he saw an opportunity to apply it in Nigeria and across Africa.

Adisa launched BPS in 2014 to address the issue of inadequate electricity supply from power distribution companies. U.S. and Nigerian utility company provides energy management software and analytics for utilities. Its AI-enabled grid management platform, Adora, addresses one of two fundamental challenges facing Africa’s power distribution companies.

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The software provides a real-time overview of network performance for electric utilities and connects to every utility asset and customer node on the network, enabling power providers to prevent outages and identify network losses, quickly respond to them, and distribute power more efficiently. “As a result, utilities can operate more efficiently, generate more revenue, and by reducing outages, customers get more power (more hours per day), so everyone wins,” BFS said in an email to TechCrunch about how how Adora works. .

Another data-related problem is solved by the company’s own platform called “Customer and Asset Information Management System” (CAIM). Utilities in Africa struggle to maintain an accurate database of their customers, assets, and network topology (the relationship between assets and customers). CAIM solves this problem by taking into account the unique conditions in which African utilities operate, such as poor address systems, and helps them digitize their data, which serves as the basis for network improvements.

“Africa is home to the world’s fastest growing cities, but when most people think of energy access in Africa, they think of rural areas with little or no access to electricity. However, Africa cannot develop without significant improvements in electricity access and reliability in its major cities,” CEO Adis said in a statement. “When we realized that solutions designed for mature markets could not solve the unique infrastructure challenges facing Africa, we developed a tailored solution for energy companies on the continent to improve the daily supply of electricity to the grid.”

Bim Adisa (CEO)

Adisa told TechCrunch that BPS has grown from one utility in Nigeria to four utilities in two countries, including Ghana, serving more than 8 million customers (residential and commercial). According to Adis, BPS’s business model is to work long-term with its customers as partners, not just to sell products. In this way, a company can defer much of the initial cost of deploying its technology in exchange for service fees that are commensurate with the value being created.

The eight-year-old energy company says it differentiates itself from other platforms by providing “local solutions tailored to the local operating environment in Africa.” For example, most out-of-the-box solutions built for mature markets don’t take into account Africa’s outage rate or network communication issues, but BPS claims its solutions have solved that problem.

The company’s seed round was led by Seedstars Africa Ventures with participation from Persistent Energy, Kepple Africa Ventures, Factor.[e] and Oridun Capital Management. Speaking about the investment, Maxime Buan, Managing Partner at Seedstars Africa Ventures, said: “As a society, we have recognized climate change as one of the biggest threats to our generation and it is imperative that we use smart capital to support entrepreneurs across Africa. who create innovative and localized solutions to solve this problem.”

The new funding will enable BPS to improve its current products (refresh products, add new features and enable automation) and expand into new markets outside of Nigeria and Ghana, where it currently operates.

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