Off-Grid Electric

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Off Grid Electric Founders - Xavier Helgesen, Erica Mackey and Joshua Pierce. Picture: Off Grid Electric Website

In a world where one in five people live without electricity, Off Grid Electric provides clean, transformative solar energy to households that suffer from expensive, unreliable grids or have no grid access at all. The company's distributed solar model, known locally as Zola, is working to provide electricity to every household in the off-grid world. Today they are reaching over 120,000 customers. Off Grid's business model allows them to provide modern solar living for a price that is equal to or less than their customers' average energy expenditure. Payments across their distributed customer base are run through their proprietary software platform and SMS texting system. To date, Off Grid has processed over 9 million mobile payments. For $6, Off Grid Electric will install a home solar kit, which includes solar panels, LED lights, a meter, and a USB charger for cell phones. Customers then pay via mobile phones to unlock the energy they need. Off Grid claims their pricing is equal to or less than what customers currently pay for kerosene, batteries, and phone-charging services. In a country where only 15% of the population had access to electricity in 2012, according to the World Bank, the market demand is obvious. Still, getting investors on board is a different story. From Unreasonable, Poets & Quants