GIF investee SparkMeter, a provider of grid management services, equipment, and software solutions, has closed a $10 million raise.
This financing included follow-on funding of $530,000 from GIF and will enable SparkMeter’s growth in global markets, including access to reliable electricity for underserved communities across Africa, Asia, and the Americas.
Over one billion people lack access to any form of electricity. An additional one billion people who are nominally connected to grids experience frequent power outages and unreliable service, especially in rural, remote communities. Lack of, and unreliable, access leads to the continued use of unsafe alternatives such as kerosene, and barriers to broader economic growth.
SparkMeter sells a proprietary smart metering technology, and associated software and services, to central grid utilities and microgrids to enable real-time monitoring of grid systems, pay-as-you-go electricity usage, and load control to prevent grid outages.
GIF’s initial funding in 2016 enabled SparkMeter to establish a full suite of certified meters to scale to both microgrids and central grid utilities. The financing focus was on technology, R&D, business development, and sales – including trials in Nigeria. To date, the company has sold meters across 25 countries. Its customers range from local solar installers and developers to venture-backed mini-grid developers such as Husk Power, Powerhive, and the mini-grid arm of global energy giant Engie.
SparkMeter’s newest product offering will help utilities address daily challenges that arise from poor grid edge visibility, congestion, and stress on lines and transformers; as well as support for the planning of new grid dynamics. The technology combines real-time data streams from the edge of the utility’s network with a detailed model of the grid, creating a “digital twin.”
GIF Investment Director Khuram Hussain said: “SparkMeter’s latest raise goes beyond expanding reliable access to electricity. The company is working toward decarbonizing grids and improving grid resiliency, which will help enable a net zero carbon future in emerging markets at scale. The innovation addresses climate change challenges within the scope of the SDGs – only grids that are resilient and decarbonized can satisfy SDG 7 (ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all) and SDG 13 (take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts) together.”
In April 2022 SparkMeter will release the first stage of its software platform, KoiosTM – an interface that can do meter-to-cash, detailed system insights, and smooth integrations to improve distribution system operations.