I want a sneak peek into the power grid of the future? Don’t look at the United States, Europe or China. Instead, head to Nigeria, where Odyssey Power Solutions has been working hard. There, an unstable and incomplete grid has led many companies and communities to invest in mini and micro grids powered by renewable energy and capable of operating independently.
Odyssey has been building a platform to help developers launch, build and manage distributed renewable energy projects in emerging markets such as Nigeria, Kenya and Sierra Leone. Those efforts helped the company raise a $5.3 million seed round last summer.
Now, just seven months later, Odyssey has closed on a $15 million Series A, TechDigiPro+ has exclusively learned. The round was led by Union Square Ventures, with participation from Equal Ventures, Twelve Below, Transition, Equator, MCJ Collective, Abstract Ventures, Founder Collective and Climate Capital.
The company collects data about every project that flows through its platform, which it then uses to help investors vet future projects. Some of that data also helps developers purchase equipment for their projects, whether it’s solar panels, inverters or other key supplies. And in the end, Odyssey has software to control the power that flows through the developers’ mini and microgrids.
When the company raised its seed round last year, business was good. Odyssey co-founder and CEO Emily McAteer told TechDigiPro+ that her company had already built a network of project developers and had a significant amount of capital in its target markets flowing through the platform. Her software products were also helping developers purchase supplies for less and more easily manage the minigrids and microgrids they had built. At that time, raising a Serie A in a short time was not in the cards.
But that changed in the following months. “We had some proof points that we wanted to hit when launching those products, and we got there very quickly,” McAteer said. Some key hires also helped them quickly understand other pain points that Odyssey customers frequently experience. McAteer referred to this equipment and product combination as “a stepping stone.”