The outbreak of COVID-19 has left no industry unaffected and we have been sobered by the projected effects the pandemic may have in the markets in which we work. The United Nations is now warning that for the first time in thirty years we will see an increase in global poverty – and that at least a half billion people could slip into destitution by the end of the year.
This is hard news to hear for a firm that has spent the last seven years dedicated to improving the lives of people in emerging markets. But to be resilient means to not dwell on the dire but ...
Since 2010, the number of people without energy access has decreased from almost 1.2 billion to 840 million. The “glass half full” perspective on those numbers is that some 360 million people now have access to the benefits of electricity. The downside is that, with SDG7’s finish line for universal electrification now just 10 years away, this modest rate of progress is not bringing us quickly enough toward the goal. Furthermore, even among connected customers, a basic, subsistence level of electricity consumption (30 kilowatt-hours per month) was&nb...
We’re thrilled to announce another addition to our portfolio of microgrid technology companies that are improving access to energy for the people who need it most.
Read the full press release here.
Factor[e] Ventures recently co-hosted an Investor Forum in Nairobi, Kenya alongside EEP Africa and the Shell Foundation. The event brought together high-quality clean energy companies in Africa and key stakeholders in the impact investing space. We are confident that the conversations that took place, as well as the connections that were made, will result in positive outcomes in the future.
Factor[e] portfolio companies in attendance:
More details about the Investor Forum can be found here.
Recently Factor[e] and portfolio company S4S Technologies took on the challenge of redesigning their patented solar conduction dryer technology. The goal was to reduce production cost, simplify the manufacturing and assembly processes and add functionality to the technology in preparation for a substantial increase in production.
A solar conduction dryer (or SCD) is a solar-powered food dehydrator using natural conduction as a primary heat transfer mode and secondary modes of convection and radiation to reduce moisture content within agri-produce. This allows farmers ...
As early-stage impact investors, we at Factor[e] Ventures are often asked how we measure an investment’s impact. What are the metrics that we use? How can we determine if a venture is worthy of the limited risk capital available in the impact sector? Can an investment start out as high-impact and then stray from the mission? We’d like to argue that looking at metrics after the fact is likely the least effective way to answer these questions, and that, in fact, the best way to measure impact is to start by understanding an investor’s intention.
At our core, ...
Powering income generating appliances with high-penetration renewable energy systems is not straightforward. To tackle this challenge, we’re conducting a research effort to learn more about income generating appliances and their use in emerging markets.
Watch this short video to learn more about our work, or click here to view a PowerPoint slide deck about our findings :
In late 2017, we highlighted some of the challenges surrounding income-generating appliances in the blog post titled "The Problem with Productive Use Appliances". In 2018, we conducted primary ...
With the help of our portfolio company, Apollo Agriculture, we recently developed research methods to study the market potential for solar pumps among smallholder farmers in developing countries. The objective of this study was to provide both visual and quantitative representations of the potential for solar pump sales among Apollo Agriculture’s customer base.The methods we established can be applied to identify high potential solar irrigation markets around the world.
Irrigation of arable land has the potential to boost crop yield and enable cultivation of the same ...
Seth Silverman Principal and Director of Africa Operations at Factor[e] Ventures recently wrote the following excerpt and the full-length article titled In Defense of "Doing Too Much" first appearing in the Stanford Social Innovation Review:
"The story goes like this: An impact investor considers a new social venture’s grand vision and feels moved. The entrepreneur persuades the investor that the company is worthwhile, highlighting the novelty of its approach: new technology and a new method rooted in meeting customers where they are. The venture has demonstrated ...
Factor[e] Venture’s Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) program seeks to empower East African entrepreneurs through support in the development of investable impact ventures by providing early-stage funding. This program is generously supported by Bohemian Impact Investments, LLC.
We are looking for a hard-working, creative, technically-savvy, passionate, and visionary East African entrepreneur committed to building a venture in partnership with Factor[e]. The EIR program extends over a period of 6 months. During that time, the EIR will be tasked to follow lean startup ...