March 29, 2023
Expected Close Date
October 01, 2023
MPower is a B2B platform that offers a 360° solution providing solar energy and a variety of cleantech and solar appliances at an affordable cost. Over 500 Million people in Sub-Saharan Africa lack access to electricity, and many are connected to unreliable grids. Solar and storage technologies have become the preferred power source. However, several challenges inhibit growth in the market. MPower's solution combines cost-effective, high-quality solar products with affordable financing for end users and B2B partners combined with in-house software solutions to help distributors optimize their operations.
MPower supplies Plug & Play solar devices as well as energy-efficient household and income-generating appliances for lower- and middle-income households, SMEs, and farmers in peri-urban and rural areas. They do this by leveraging a B2B2C model, where they partner with co-invested distributors in SSA to deploy MPower branded products from their dedicated sourcing hub in Shenzhen, China. MPower also facilitates access to finance, including inventory finance for distributors, and consumer financing for end users; inventory financing is mainly financed by MPower while ~80% of the consumer financing is from bank and MFI partners. This model allows MPower to offer competitively priced, high-quality products to households, SMEs, and farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa. The company states that this integrated operation system provides a key competitive advantage within the African solar market.
MPower has launched additional product categories, such as larger solar systems and e-mobility products, which it intends to scale within present and developing markets. There is also room for the company to further develop its financing solutions for clients, which include payroll deductions, microfinancing, and corporate financing. MPower currently has local subsidiaries and teams in Zambia, Cameroon, Togo, and Namibia. An additional team in Ghana was incorporated in Q4 2022, under the expectation of increased sales in 2023. The company has made additional sales on an ad hoc/opportunistic basis in Botswana and Zimbabwe. MPower is exploring new markets in Nigeria and elsewhere in SSA, evaluating their viability based on proximity to supply hubs and their growing pipeline of B2B partners.
The company had $1.7M in revenue in 2022. The small systems/ off-grid make up 51% of the company’s 2022 sales followed by large systems/on-grid and solar appliances accounting for 29% and 18% of 2022 sales respectively. MPower has sold over 35,000 units to date, with 20 B2B distributors throughout 7 countries. The company is EBITDA positive in its initial market of Zambia and is targeting company-wide profitability by 2023 by entry into new markets and supported by a strong B2B pipeline. Increased country sales, in addition to growth in new and higher margin services (SaaS and financing) from 2023, are expected to increase their EBITDA margin to 8% in 2023, which is expected to grow more than 6x to 19% by 2026.
Key Deal Facts
Accessible clean energy solutions for Sub-Saharan Africa 20 B2B distributors across 7 countries | 35k+ products sold $1.7M revenue in 2022 | Targeting profitability in Q4 '23/Q1 '24 High-quality solar kits & appliances manufactured in Shenzhen (white label) Partnerships for last-mile sales/distribution and microfinancing In-house software stack for efficient ops & client data collection $5.9M raised to date in debt, equity, and grants
Management Team / Advisory Board Bios
The management team is very strong.
Manuel Seiffe, Co-founder & CEO
Manuel is an entrepreneur, renewable energy enthusiast, and a dedicated professional with experience in impact investing. He studied in Paris, New York, and Washington DC. Following his M.A. at Johns Hopkins SAIS, Manuel worked for more than 10 years in the solar sector (Yingli Solar, Q-Cells), as a management consultant (Apricum) on renewable energy projects as well as for Deutsche Bank. This is his first startup and he works full-time with the company.
Greg Nau, Co-founder & CFO
Greg Nau is a former law partner with a passion for making a difference. This is his first startup and he works full-time with the company.
Michael Eschmann, Co-founder & COO
Michael Eschmann is a seasoned expert in sustainable finance and development. He has done his M.A. in International Relations from Johns Hopkins University and B.A. from the University of Zurich. This is his first startup and he works full-time with the company.
Alejandro Jiménez, CTO
Alejandro loves to code and has been working on developing games and apps for web and mobile, making more than 100 products for brands, and more than 10 own projects (3 of them have become funded startups). He has a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering.
MPower has grown its team to 36 people across our 5 countries of operations (Zambia, Cameroon, Togo, Ghana, and Namibia).
MPower is backed by Technology Fund, Energy4Impact, EIT InnoEnergy, Alternative Bank Schweiz, SIMA, and South Pole Group. It has raised $5.9M in equity, debt & grants. The company has further signed term sheets for a USD 4M debt facility that will be used for working capital. It is furthermore supported by leading stakeholders including ResponsAbility (TA Facility) and Google for SDG startup Advisory program. The valuation of $7.2M is reasonable.