Energy 4 Impact launched their final paper in a series of five reports from its Crowd Power programme on energy access related crowdfunding and peer-to-peer (P2P) lending in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.
Entitled, Powering the Crowd into the Future: Key Learnings and Recommendations, the report provides a summary of knowledge gathered during the three-year UK aid-funded Crowd Power programme.
The report looks at the market growth since the programme began in 2015 and finds that energy access companies and non-profits raised $14 million in funding on donation, reward, debt and equity platforms in 2017. This represents a fourfold increase in volume of funds raised by energy access campaigns from 2015.
The most significant growth has been in working capital debt raised by off-grid energy companies via lending platforms such as TRINE (Sweden), bettervest (Germany), Energise Africa (UK) and Lendahand (The Netherlands).
The volume of funds raised by energy access campaigns grew 4X from 2015 to 2017.
Powering the Crowd into the Future provides a summary of the six campaign archetypes – across the donation, reward, debt and equity landscape – used by energy-access companies and non-profits, to crowd-source finance. It profiles six energy access companies, which have leveraged crowd-sourced finance, including Solaris Offgrid (Tanzania), Simusolar (Uganda) and Azuri Technologies (DRC, Kenya, Rwanda), and one non-profit organisation, Tahude Foundation (Tanzania).
Crowd Power was an experimental programme designed to test whether grants by public agencies can accelerate the impact of crowdfunding and P2P lending platforms on energy access. The report examines the four interventions employed during Crowd Power: match funding, lump-sum payments, first-loss guarantees, and gift vouchers (issued to ‘the crowd’). The research shows the effectiveness of each of these interventions varies across the campaign archetypes. For example, first-loss guarantees are more effective on debt platforms, while match funding is more effective on donation platforms.
First-loss guarantees are more effective on debt platforms, while match funding is more effective on donation platforms.
The report also announces the launch of a second phase of the programme, Crowd Power 2 (CP2). CP2 will provide co-funding to companies raising seed capital on donation, reward and equity crowdfunding platforms, and support the growth of P2P lending platforms by helping them to set-up guarantee and local currency lending facilities.
Crowd Power began in 2015 to test the effectiveness of crowdfunding and P2P lending in addressing the financing gaps faced by off-grid energy companies.
- Supported 252 campaigns by energy access companies, non-profits and micro-entrepreneurs
- Raised over £3.4 million via supported energy access campaigns
- Leveraged 6X co-funding in private capital from ‘the crowd’
- Provided over 300,000 individuals with access to clean energy in 29 countries
- Reduced 50,000 tonnes in CO2 emissions
- Created over 120 jobs