Powerhive raises $20 million for off-grid development in emerging markets

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California-based Powerhive, a microgrid solutions provider and developer focusing on emerging markets, has raised $20 million after closing a Series A financing round aimed to support its expansion into new markets in Africa and Asia Pacific.

Prelude Ventures led the round, which also includes participation from Caterpillar Ventures, Total Energy Ventures, Tao Capital Partners, Pi Investments and select other private investors.

"Each investor brings unique expertise and experience, which will prove invaluable as we advance our mission to provide clean energy access to millions of people around the globe," said Powerhive CEO Christopher Hornor.

Powerhive uses its proprietary technology platform to develop and operate portfolios of renewable microgrids that supply affordable and reliable electricity to off-grid communities in emerging markets. Powerhive will continue to increase its activities in Kenya, where it has operated rural microgrids since 2012, while also looking to expand its operations in new regions.

"Powerhive has developed a unique platform and business model to address one of the fastest growing electricity markets in the next decade — energy access in emerging markets. Bringing sustainable and scalable electricity to these communities will be life changing for millions of people," said Prelude Ventures managing director Tim Woodward. "We’re very excited about partnering with the company, a global investor syndicate and partners like Enel to scale the Powerhive opportunity."

The financing round comes in the wake of an $11 million investment last month that Powerhive received in its flagship project, which will serve approximately 90,000 people in western Kenya, where Powerhive’s electricity service supports the use of productive equipment and vital community services such as health clinics and schools.