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Mobisol

Late Stage Startup





Tagline

Solar Revolution in Africa

Video

vimeo.com/133522790

Elevator Pitch

Mobisol is a leading Berlin-based international company engineering, developing and delivering rent-to-own solar home and business systems, appliances and services for emerging economies. As Africa’s largest rent-to-own solar service provider by capacity installed, Mobisol is paving the way for the solar revolution in the developing world by delivering a clean, affordable alternative to fossil fuels for low-income households living without access to reliable energy.

The Mobisol Product-Service-Offer
Mobisol’s products are made affordable by a rent-to-own program offering micro-finance loans over a period of 36 months in small, flexible instalments payable via Mobile Money. Mobisol solar systems come complete with an extended warranty and full service package including comprehensive customer service, free maintenance and innovative remote monitoring technology. The systems can illuminate entire households, and power (e.g.) laptops, radios, TVs, fridges and charge cell phones, and are powerful enough to run energy-based businesses.

Mobisol’s Impact
Mobisol has so far electrified over 40,000 households in East Africa and has installed more than 4MW solar capacity. Over 200,000 indirect beneficiaries are profiting from an electrification infrastructure made possible by Mobisol. The company has so far created over 800 permanent jobs, with over 90% of the team working in Tanzania and Rwanda. Mobisol’s training institution, the Mobisol Akademie, trains and certifies all customer-facing staff, thereby contributing to capacity building in rural regions. Mobisol has shown a strong and stable growth track record since 3 years and has, among other acclaimed recognitions, recently been awarded the UNFCCC’s Momentum for Change Award 2015.

Our Vision for the Future
Mobisol aspires to provide clean, reliable electricity to millions of households in low-income communities. After having successfully installed 40,000 live systems in Tanzania and Rwanda and proven the feasibility of the concept, Mobisol is now moving into the business at a larger scale. Mobisol is currently working on expansion strategies into further markets and expanding their product portfolio – thereby stimulating economic and social development in developing countries while simultaneously contributing to global environmental protection.

Product

Mobisol has developed an innovative product design and service offering fully adjusted to African customers’ needs: The mature product-service offer combines high-quality solar products, innovative IT solutions and remote monitoring, microfinance via mobile banking and comprehensive customer services.

The company’s solar systems are available in different sizes ranging from 80 to 200 Watt. The robust and reliable plug’n play systems are quickly installed by locally trained and certified technicians and include a solar panel, battery, solar controller, efficient LEDs, as well as cell phone chargers. The systems can illuminate entire households and power e.g. laptops and Internet routers, radios, TVs, fridges and charge cell phones, and are powerful enough to run energy-based businesses. Mobisol also offers a “Business out of a Box” feature, which enables entrepreneurial customers to set-up income generating activities such as barbershops, as well as phone and solar lantern charging stations.

All of Mobisol’s energy efficient products are thoroughly tested and certified by an in-house quality assurance team based in Germany. Additionally, Mobisol is a Lighting Global Program Associates – a designation granted to companies after one or more of their products meet the Lighting Global Quality Standards and the company passes a comprehensive due diligence screening. Furthermore, all Mobisol suppliers are certified in accordance to ISO9001.

Mobisol’s pay-as-you-go system circumvents the initial investment hurdle for customers who previously could not afford high quality solar home systems. Using mobile payment services like M-Pesa or MTN Mobile Money the systems can be paid off conveniently via their mobile phones in a convenient and flexible microfinanced 36-month instalment plan. The rates are geared to their previous customary expenditure on fossil fuels. After paying off the system, customers now fully own their personal electricity source. In order to ensure the sustainability of the systems, a full service package complete with free installation by certified technicians, free maintenance for three years including a free-of-charge service hotline and 48 hours repair service, is standard.

Mobisol batteries come affixed with the Mobisol controller - a stand-alone measurement and control unit complete with charge controller and an integrated GSM module. The charge controller measures voltage and bi-directional current measurements of the battery, load and solar panel and communicates all data via the GSM network to the ‘Solarhub’, the remote monitoring database. There, technical data regarding the panel, battery and energy consumption is tracked and monitored by technicians. The remote monitoring technology allows potential maintenance problems to be addressed swiftly and enables systems to be locked automatically in case of overdue repayment or theft.



Why we are ecofriendly

Approximately 1.3 billion of the world’s population is living without a reliable electricity access. They currently try and subsist using kerosene lamps, open flames, diesel generators and other fossil sources that are inefficient, unhealthy, costly – and harmful to the environment. Mobisol’s solar product-service packages compensate for traditionally used market alternatives and currently saves over 20,000 tons/year of CO2 emissions by substituting fossil fuels. Mobisol has developed a carbon-offset project in cooperation with myclimate, whose climate protection projects are characterised by their compliance with very strict environmental and social criteria.

In the past, many solar energy projects in developing countries failed because solar systems were just simply installed and then left without after-sales services – thus often leaving the beneficiaries unable to solve any maintenance issues which resulted in broken and unused parts littering the landscape. By providing an extended warranty and full service package Mobisol ensures the longevity, durability and reliability of each system thus maximizing their environmental benefits.

All Mobisol systems are installed properly by well-trained and certified technicians and by now, over 40,000 customers have received personalized education regarding the most efficient and eco-friendly usage of their personal solar systems. Maintenance is provided by specifically trained maintenance technicians who are able to analyse and interpret data transmitted to the web-based database regarding the functioning and usage of each system. This way, potential challenges can be identified even before they become a problem. Analysing the data, local technicians can e.g. determine whether a panel is dirty or the battery is overused and communicate the findings to the customer via mobile phone rendering an costly and complicated customer visit in remote areas unnessecary.

During system operation the battery is permanently protected from overcharge and deep discharge by the solar controller. The batteries are particularly designed for solar applications, therefore they provide a characteristic deep cycle ability with a long lifetime expectancy. Mobisol additionally offers a recycling program for batteries and provides only energy efficient LED lamps and high quality DC appliances such as solar TVs, radios and business solutions to go with the systems.

By having developed a replicable and scalable product and service provision business model, Mobisol sets standards for future expansion into new markets – thus bringing clean, reliable and affordable energy to beneficiaries in further countries at a larger scale. Mobisol is delivering a real solution for the emerging economies of the Global South whose economic growth is accompanied by a rising need for energy to support socio-economic development. The hunger for reliable energy in Africa can be met primarily by providing decentralised renewable energy. Off-grid energy is a far easier and less expensive solution than the electrical grid - especially in remote rural areas. Strong solar radiation ratings and scattered settlement patterns have seemingly predesigned Sub-Saharan Africa to be a perfect landscape for decentralised solar solutions. Mobisol provides such solutions that are, at the same time, affordable to low-income households and fully sustainable because of the service model accompanying their products.

Latest News

Apr. 4, 2016
Mobsiol has been announced as one of the 2016 “New Energy Pioneers” at the Bloomberg New Energy Finance Summit in New York City: www.plugintheworld.com/mobi...

Mar. 16, 2016
Mobisol becomes Lighting Global Program Associate: www.plugintheworld.com/mobi...

Feb. 28, 2016
Mobisol connects 200,000 beneficiaries and announces upcoming Kenyan market entry: www.plugintheworld.com/mobi...

Jan. 28, 2016
Mobisol Rwanda electrifies 10,000 households: www.plugintheworld.com/mobi...

Dec. 18, 2015
Mobisol tests Solar Powered Drone Delivery Network: www.plugintheworld.com/mobi...

Dec. 15, 2015
Mobisol wins UN’s Momentum for Change Award: www.plugintheworld.com/mobi...

Oct. 3, 2015
Mobisol donates solar system to support Burundian refugees: www.plugintheworld.com/mobi...

Aug. 10, 2015
Mobisol is now a Certified B Corporation: www.plugintheworld.com/mobi...

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Version History

2016-04-05 13:21:51 - changed latestnews to 'Apr. 4, 2016 Mobsiol has been announced as one of the 2016 “New Energy Pioneers” at the Bloomberg New Energy...'

2016-04-05 13:21:23 - changed economic-impact to 'Mobisol is empowering rural entrepreneurs to start their own energy-based businesses. Approximately one third of our...'

2016-04-05 11:36:36 - changed latestnews to 'Apr. 4, 2016 Mobsiol has been announced as one of the 2016 “New Energy Pioneers” at the Bloomberg New Energy...'

2016-04-05 11:27:31 - changed people to 'Thomas Gottschalk – CEO Lisa Schwarz – Communication Manager'

2016-04-05 11:19:48 - changed headquarter to 'Mobisol GmbH Skalitzer Str. 85-86 Aufgang C 10997 Berlin Germany'



Website


Revenues

2014:
$10.000.000
2015:
$21.900.000


Capital Raised

$ 30m

Grants Raised

$8m

Employees

The Mobisol team in Berlin has over 60 employees. Since the initial pilot phase in Tanzania the local team has grown to over 160 permanent employees and 340 freelance operators. Mobisol Rwanda currently employs a local team of 130 employees and over 125 freelancers.

Investors

Mobisol’s total budget consists of a mix of angel investors and institutional equity, institutional grants and loans from international development banks.

Customers

Our current customers live in rural and semi-urban areas in Tanzania and Rwanda. They are low and middle-income earners in some of the poorest countries in the world – the so called ‘base of the economic pyramid’. Our clients vary in their socio-economic background: Some provide for their families mainly by subsistence farming and selling their produce on local markets, some are Massai herders, others run small shops or own simple restaurants, work as company employees, teachers, hairdressers, tailors or craftspersons, government employees and factory workers. Having not had access to the electrical grid in the past, people are now enthusiastic about possessing their own solar home system which delivers reliable energy and does not endanger their health or the health of their children. Mobisol customers are happy about having to pay less in monthly instalments than they had previously being paid for fossil fuels – and that they will outright own the system after three years.

Learn more about our impact: www.plugintheworld.com/mobi...

Meet some of our customers and learn more about how Mobisol’s solar home systems have changed their lives:

Josephine Mukamurenzi & Alex Rusangiza: www.plugintheworld.com/mobi...

Neema Ayubu: www.plugintheworld.com/mobi...

Mohamood Daudi Kideghesho: www.plugintheworld.com/mobi...

Beatrice Akyoo: www.plugintheworld.com/mobi...

Dominick Joseph Mollel: www.plugintheworld.com/mobi...

Enviromental Impact

Solar home systems are an environmentally-friendly alternative to traditionally used fossil fuels. Mobisol currently saves over 20,000 tons/year of CO2 emissions by substituting fossil fuels.
Mobisol solar systems are composed of high quality, robust and reliable components that are designed to conserve energy and work efficiently.
Mobisol products are installed and serviced safely and sustainably and waste is recycled properly.
Furthermore, through customer education of over 40,000 households in Tanzania and Rwanda and by the training of over 700 staff in East Africa, Mobisol continues to raise awareness for renewable energies and global environmental protection.

Economic Impact

Mobisol is empowering rural entrepreneurs to start their own energy-based businesses. Approximately one third of our customers are earning incremental income by running energy-based businesses such as charging mobile phones and solar lanterns, running barber salons or operating village cinemas. This way, approximately 13,000 businesses in East Africa generate a significant additional household income of over 5 million USD per year.
In order to further facilitate capacity building and job generation in structurally underemployed regions, Mobisol has developed the “Mobisol Akademie” concept. The Mobisol Akademie was established in 2014 to train local entrepreneurs working as Mobisol technicians and sales staff to effectively service customers, while supporting the sustainable growth of the company. The Mobisol Akademie trains and certifies all customer facing staff and has so far trained over 700 people. The company has so far employed over 350 full-time employees and empowered over 450 entrepreneurs working as contractors, with over 90% of the team working in Tanzania and Rwanda.

Social Impact

Mobisol has so far electrified over 40,000 households in East Africa and has installed more than 4MW solar capacity. Over 200,000 indirect beneficiaries are profiting from an electrification infrastructure made possible by Mobisol.
Owning their personal electricity source has a positive socio-economic impact on low-income households. Customer reports show that efficient, bright LED bulbs and longer light hours increased family productivity; in the evening people are able to work and children have light to do their homework thereby improving education levels. Over 120,000 children were enabled to study at night with clean efficient solar light. Mobisol clients no longer have to travel long distances to shops with diesel generators to charge their cell phones. Additionally, Mobisol solar home systems avoid dangerous fumes which, according to the World Bank, cause approximately 600,000 premature deaths in Africa per year. To emphasize their commitment to sustainable socioeconomic and ecological development, Mobisol has become a certified B Corporation – a designation that requires companies to meet the highest standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability.

Awards

• Bloomberg New Energy Pioneers 2016
• United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s “Momentum for Change” Award 2015
• PV Magazine Award for “Top Business Model 2015”
• Technology Review Award “Social Innovator of the Year 2015”
• SUSTAINIA TOP10 sustainable solutions 2015
• Off-Grid Expert Award 2013


Country of Origin

Germany

Founded

October 2010

Twitter


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Team

Thomas Gottschalk – CEO
Lisa Schwarz – Communication Manager

Contact Person

Lisa Schwarz
lisa.schwarz@plugintheworld.com

Headquarter

Mobisol GmbH
Skalitzer Str. 85-86
Aufgang C
10997 Berlin
Germany

Tags

renewable energy, solar energy, home solar systems, mobile revolution, mobile banking, mobile payments, microcredits, microfinance, Africa, developing nations, rural electrification, mobile for development, digital finance plus, solar revolution, capacity building, m2m communication, sustainable energy for all, solar power