…to Accelerate The Transition To Clean, Reliable, And Affordable Energy In Emerging Markets
April 8, 2021 – SHYFT Power Solutions, which builds IoT and software to optimize distributed energy resource performance and operational efficiency in emerging markets, has announced an additional $3.1M in funding to bring its total seed round to $3.8M.
The round was led by the SoftBank Vision Fund’s Emerge Program and Total Carbon Neutrality Ventures with participation from other investors including Lofty Inc, Samurai Ventures and Urban US Ventures.
Nearly 3.5 billion people lack access to reliable power. In many emerging markets, this has resulted in widespread dependence on backup power systems like petrol or diesel generators. SHYFT was founded by Stanford engineers to address the challenges in delivering and scaling clean, reliable, and affordable energy solutions in emerging markets that struggle with unreliable grids or energy access.
SHYFT’s initial focus is in Nigeria, a country set to be the 3rd most populous only to China and India, but were an unreliable grid has led to widespread dependence on generators, accounting for nearly 8x the capacity of the grid.
SHYFT is pioneering the digitization of the energy landscape in emerging markets like Nigeria. Its asset management solution delivers an integrated approach that uses algorithms to monitor, automate, and optimize how assets, as well as grid connections, are utilized individually and as an integrated system, aggregating a plurality of data streams while doing so.
By increasing visibility and control the system helps users to make informed decisions about which sources they use, how long they use a source, and when they switch sources. This enables operators to scale distributed systems in a cost-effective way, particularly in remote markets. It has resulted in operators improving RoI, reducing emissions, mitigating downtime, and reducing operational costs, in some cases by up to 57%.
“I was an engineering graduate student at Stanford at a time when solar was reaching grid parity and we were seeing advancement in distributed energy technologies. As a Nigerian-American with previous experience in infrastructure, I recognized that emerging markets have a unique opportunity to leapfrog over centralized grids and leverage advancements in clean, reliable and affordable alternatives to meet energy needs and at times work alongside centralized grids too”, said Co-Founder & CEO Ugwem Eneyo.
“I founded SHYFT to build the technology that can enable and accelerate this transition, and ensure that on the path to reliable energy access, the use of cleaner solutions can mitigate carbon emissions as well. We are fortunate to have investors supporting us where their sector and global experience will be invaluable”.
SoftBank Vision Fund’s Emerge Program was established in 2019 to provide select startups with access to the tools, networks, and support to take their business to the next level. Total Carbon Neutrality Ventures is focused on finding, funding, and fostering high-potential startups which will contribute to creating a low carbon future.
With the new round of funding, SHYFT plans to more than double its team in West Africa over the next year with a focus on developing AI capabilities to use its data and algorithms for system optimization. SHYFT will also look to build out corporate partnerships and expand to additional African markets facing similar energy resiliency and access challenges.
SHYFT’s customers and strategic partners include some of the largest and fastest-growing alternative energy companies in Nigeria, including Daystar Power Solutions and Aspire Power Solutions. After passing critical IEC safety testing for their controllers, the company began ramping up sales across Nigeria over the past year with their customers.
Today, they have over 2,000 kW of assets being managed by SHYFT technology and expect that to increase ten-fold by the end of 2021. Nearly every major bank in Nigeria has a branch using SHYFT technology, creating a path for SHYFT and its customers to deliver reliable power to the nearly 5,000 branches in the market.
Ademidun Edosomwan, Managing Director, Emerging Markets at Total Carbon Neutrality Ventures (TCNV), said:
“Energy is an essential need for all, yet it is estimated that more than 3.5 billion people globally lack access to affordable and reliable electricity. SHYFT’s technology will play a critical role in a global movement to democratize the way people manage their power sources.
They’ve developed data-driven software that enables homeowners and businesses in emerging markets to make smarter decisions on their energy use in order to cut costs and reduce emissions. We are delighted to support SHYFT’s momentum as Ugwem and the team continue to expand their impact and help build a better energy future for the world.”