Crowdfunding raises $31m for energy access

Off-grid energy companies are turning to the crowd to raise debt finance with over $31m raised last year from the crowd to provide energy to sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia – an increase of $20m from 2017 – with research by Energy 4 Impact revealing that over 90 per cent of crowd-sourced funds for energy access in 2018 was raised on peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platforms.

The analysis showed that two-thirds of debt financing raised in 2018 was on Sweden-based platform, TRINE, and UK-based platform, Energise Africa. Growth rates are expected to climb further through 2019. Co-author of the Energy 4 Impact report Crowdfunding & P2P Lending for Energy Access – State of the Market 2018, and researcher at the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance at Cambridge Judge Business School, Davinia Cogan, said: “The growth of P2P lending was largely unprecedented, with a 10-fold increase in four years. Our analysis shows that P2P lending platforms are now an important source of debt for many off-grid energy companies.”

Energy 4 Impact’s report is part of a UK aid-funded initiative, Crowd Power, designed to research innovative technology-driven financing solutions to drive clean energy access in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Crowd Power is funded through the UK Government’s Transforming Energy Access (TEA) programme.

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