Solar power firm raises cash to connect 20,000 homes in off-grid zones.

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Micro-grids operator Powerhive Inc has raised Sh930 million in its Series B round of funding for connecting electricity to 20,000 families via solar power. Powerhive chief executive Christopher Hornor said Toyota Tsusho participated in the latest round with a commitment to actively participate in the project’s rollout across Kenya and beyond. “We are excited to work with Toyota Tsusho who shared our vision to build climate-friendly, sustainable and profitable businesses,” he said adding that the solar kits once deployed will be locally assembled thereby creating a ready pool of solar technicians to keep Kenya ‘alight’. Toyota Tsusho’s Power Project Business Unit head Hirata Tatsuya said the partnership gives them an opportunity to fully participate in the planned rollout as well as offer expertise and products. “The time is right for Kenya to leapfrog from the old way of doing things and take a fresh approach to energy independence.

“We are proud to be part of this transition to deliver affordable energy,” he said. New investors included Kouros and TO:org as well as existing investors, Tao Capital, James Sandler, Prelude Ventures, Caterpillar Ventures and Total Energy Ventures, increasing stake.

Powerhive has been operating micro-grids since 2012 when it received a licence as Kenya’s first privately licensed electricity utility.

The parties said they would collaborate in tapping opportunities in new markets in Africa as well as diversify the product mix to include electrical mobility products and services, reused batteries, agricultural and industrial materials to create a new revenue stream for them.