IGNITE POWER, enables millions of consumers across Africa to enjoy the benefit of electricity via solar power rental, commencing from only $4 per month. Consumers receive the panels for free and by a ‘membership subscription model’ pay-off usage and offset the panels costs. Ignite Power is looking to connect 100 million people to electricity across 8 countries in the next few years and is seeking capital for expansion.
For 1.2 billion people, 14% of the world’s population, electricity does not set the daily routine as they live without any forms of power. Concentrated mostly in Africa and South-East Asia, entire communities face continuous daily challenges. This reality presents the greatest investment opportunity of our time, with tremendous potential for both extremely high revenues and massive impact on the lives of millions.
Left to right: (1) Yariv Cohen, Co-Founder of Ignite Power with Rwanda's President Paul Kagame
(2) Angela Homsi, Co-founder of Ignite Power, (3) Investor, Seth Merrin.
IGNITE POWER was founded by entrepreneurs Yariv Cohen and Angela Homsi. Homsi is an experienced investor in leading investment firms such as Generation Investment and Microvest, while Cohen has extensive experience in building businesses in developing countries, and previously served as President of Camco - a company that develops various renewable energy technologies. After meeting with Rwanda’s President, Paul Kagame, Cohen realized the enormous potential of the African market. "During the meeting, I realized the huge need to find energy solutions that could support large numbers of users,'' he says. “knowing everything about solar energy technology and the business models behind it, we realized we can establish a business that will generate tremendous revenues, all the while having a very positive impact on the world. A Jewish company, bringing light to millions – this is truly Tikkun Olam”.
The solution provided by Ignite Power is simple but specifically tailored to its customers
everyday life across the continent. The company focuses on the most remote rural communities of Africa, where a connection to the national grid will take years of work and billions of dollars, two scarce resources. The company utilizes another, much more accessible, affordable resource: sunlight. Ignite’s agents install unique solar panels on the homes of the customers, each device provides several hours of power per day, sufficient to operate 5 electric bulbs, a small radio, and a cellphone charger.
Recently, the company’s call center in Rwanda received a call from a customer, who did not understand why the system stopped working at 4 am. "When we asked him, it turned out that on the first day after installation, he hosted the whole village and charged everyone's phones. We had to explain to him that the capacity of the battery is limited. Today, the rest of the village also have their systems”, says Cohen.
" For 1.2 Billion People, 14% of the World’s Population, Electricity Does Not Set the Daily Routine "
While the technology solution is impressive, Cohen knows that to succeed where so many have failed, the overall solution has to fit the market’s needs, and a great product is only the first step. One of the main issues that have been preventing greater adoption of solar solutions is the price, that was simply unaffordable to many. The company is emphasizing inclusiveness, making great efforts to provide the cheapest solution in Africa: less than 4 USD per month, one cent per hour of electricity. After leasing for 24 months, the customer ends up owning the system. "The price is the most important thing for the consumer," Cohen says. “That's why we make sure to be significantly cheaper than our competitors. Thanks to our affordability, we see a very high return rate on investments, with almost 100% of our customers reaching full payments, and then often asking for a bigger system."
Another important principle is installation speed and simplicity of use. Cohen talks about "a customer who once called and asked to install a system in his mother's house in a remote village. 24 hours later, she was already enjoying electricity in her home. We are present in 6,000 villages today and can make quick installations, even a whole village in just a few hours - we provide “Amazon Prime” service, but in Africa,` he adds.
" The Hardest Part Was Connecting One Million People to Electricity, Our Next Goal is 100 Million "
The company first established operations in Rwanda, where it is already provided more than 700,000 people with solar systems, over a 2-year span, making it the fastest-growing solar provider in Africa. It has since expanded and is currently operating in 5 different countries across the continent, providing electricity to over one million people. Earlier this year, Ignite announced another agreement, this time with the government of Mozambique, to provide 1.8 million people in the country (1.2 millions of whom are children) with electricity. Cohen is convinced that this is just the beginning: "There are hundreds of millions of people living without access in Africa today, and we want to provide electricity to at least 100 million of them over the next few years."
According to his estimation, in the coming year, the company will expand its operations to eight other countries. "The hardest part was the first million. Now we just have to keep growing – hence Ignite Power presents a unique investment opportunity, combining very high return rates”. Notable members of Ignite Executive Team include Seth Merrin and Michael Liebreich.