Mobile Power closely supports Sierra Leone's national policy priority of promoting renewable energy development in rural areas, as well as its vision for low-emission development, as set out in its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC, 2016). It is also in line with the country’s aims to develop the energy sector to support increased productivity, wealth creation and improved quality of life (National Energy Strategic Plan, 2009). Similarly, the project supports Liberia's 2030 targets to reduce its GHG emissions by 10% and increase the share of renewables-based electricity production to at least 30% (NDC, 2018).
A UK-based company providing affordable energy access to low-income communities in West Africa is set for rapid expansion following the completion of a GBP 2m Series A funding round.
Mobile Power was established in 2013 to serve the needs of rural end-users in markets that are underserved by existing rural electrification models.
Through the company’s innovative rental model, customers rent smart 50Wh lithium-ion batteries at a low cost and in 24-hour increments. The “MOPO Batteries” are charged by solar-powered “MOPO Hubs”. This provides a lower cost, lower carbon model than local alternatives, which include diesel generator-powered charging stations and battery-powered torches. MOPO Batteries are managed by “MOPO Agents” and are suitable for lighting and fans, as well as phone charging, radios and TVs thereby providing access to information, communications and entertainment.
Payments are made either in cash or using mobile money, making the service inclusive to those without mobile money or areas with a weak phone signal. Additionally, the product requires no consumer debt or long-term commitment, unlike many solutions.
Following the successful Series A funding round in December 2020, led by a £1m equity investment from REPP, Mobile Power has deployed MOPO Hubs at a rapid pace in West Africa, connecting over 44,600 people to clean electricity for the first time.
The company already had operations in Sierra Leone, which is among the world’s poorest countries with 60% of the population living on less than USD 1.25 a day, as well as various partnership projects in Uganda, Zambia and Gambia. In 2020, it launched in Liberia and in 2021 entered the Nigerian market following the arrival of the first hubs.
In early 2021, Mobile Power announced that following a successful initial pilot for a new e-mobility platform it had purchased additional bikes for a larger pilot. The platform is based on the company’s existing technology, manufacturing and operational experience, and provides battery rental for motorbikes, tuktuks, agricultural tricycles and other commercial applications.
Prior to the Series A funding round, Mobile Power had raised equity from early-stage investors, and further capital in the form of innovation grants and loans.
Contracted date: 10 December 2020
Lending type: Equity
REPP funding: GBP 1 million
As a highly regarded energy access investor, REPP’s participation in our Series A funding round was of strategic importance to us as we expand into new territories.- Chris Longbottom, CEO, Mobile Power