Koolboks signs $2.5 million deal to expand Solar Refrigeration in Africa

Koolboks signs a $2.5 million deal to expand Solar Refrigeration in Africa.

Koolboks in participation with Acumen, Blue Earth Capital, All On, GSMA, and other investors, has concluded a $2.5M Seed investment round. The round was led by Aruwa Capital Management. The corporation has now invested a total of $3.5M in this venture. The funds will be used by Koolboks to scale its expansion across Nigeria, including the establishment of a local assembly facility and the development of a team to support its expanding B2C company. In July 2022, the business also established a subsidiary office in Kenya.

Koolboks is a sustainable cooling startup that offers affordable cold storage solutions to businesses around Africa. The company which was founded in France in 2018, uses the water and sun that are abundant in Africa to produce refrigeration that can last up to four days without electricity or sunshine.

By effectively utilizing natural resources, Koolboks has made off-grid solar refrigerator ownership inexpensive by including a pay-as-you-go system that allows people and small companies to spend as little as $10 per month to buy one. The Koolboks appliance serves as a freezer, refrigerator, or source of lighting for homes and businesses. Additionally, it has two LED lights bulbs and USB ports for charging smartphones, which makes it a great tool for anyone living off the grid. Currently, Koolboks are sold in 16 countries, with 13 of those being in sub-Saharan Africa.

Koolboks aims to significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions and food waste.

Using R600a, an eco-friendly refrigerant, which replaces diesel, the company’s ice thermal refrigeration technology lowers CO2 emissions. The Efficiency for Access Coalition estimates that the $4.4 billion off-grid refrigeration sector is expanding at a pace of 7%. Koolboks is working to reduce the gap in fair access to clean, easily available energy, as 770 million people in SSA lack sufficient access to electricity and only 17% have access to refrigeration.

“Poor energy access, high costs of buying and running generators, and the relatively high cost of cooling prevent many African businesses and households from accessing refrigeration when it’s most critically needed. We believe that people can make their livelihoods and feed their families by relying on energy from natural resources – energy from the sun, wind and water that are abundant around us. It’s a win for the people, a win for us, a win for our investors and a win for the planet.

We are excited to work with some of the world’s leading impact investors as we focus on empowering many more users across more countries in Africa and globally. Importantly for us, we are also appreciative to partner with local impact investors such as Aruwa Capital Management, who understand the demand and market dynamics, having operated across the continent for many years; their experience and network will be invaluable to us as we scale.” Ayoola Dominic, CEO of Kooboks said.

“We have been impressed with Koolboks’s innovative solution which goes far beyond food waste reduction – the team’s laser focus on ensuring clean renewable energy in off-grid areas is crucial to the survival of many small businesses and sectors as well as fostering economic gender equality. Equitable access to clean and reliable energy is key to closing the gender economic gap across rural areas and we are excited to see Koolboks’ expansion continue to make economic equity a reality for millions more women across Africa.” Added Adesuwa Okunbo Rhodes, Founder at Aruwa Capital Management.

The national power grid supply is irregular and inconsistent to both rural and urban households and companies, which affects millions of people everyday in Africa and other emerging countries. For some, it is frequently challenging to carry out and manage operations to make a living, with the majority turning to small-scale, hazardous diesel generators to supply electricity. With its cutting-edge cold storage solutions, Koolboks aims to empower enterprises in a variety of industries, including healthcare, food, hospitality, and pharmaceuticals, and help countries achieve the Sustainable Development Goal 7.


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