The World's Largest Minigrid Company Electrifying Rural Africa and Asia

With 675 million people in the world living without electricity, up to 60 percent could be powered by renewable energy minigrids, small hybrid power plants, and distribution networks that serve weak-grid and off-grid communities in rural Africa and Asia. Husk Power is the minigrid industry leader, and the only company with a 100 percent renewable, 24/7 solution.

Founded in 2008, Husk designs, builds, owns, and operates the lowest-cost minigrids, offering customers a flexible 'pay-as-you-go' service, using a digitally-enabled platform using AI, IoT, and smart meters. Their grid-compatible solution addresses all aspects of the rural energy economy: electricity provision, appliance sales, and financing, energy services for productive use applications in agriculture and transportation, and rural C&I. It can be rolled out quickly and cost-effectively to support national electrification plans.

In 2021, Husk became the first company globally to operate more than 100 minigrids and has since doubled that number. Even though Husk secured $10.5M of debt that same year to scale their growth, the second COVID-19 surge in India in April 2021 delayed the disbursement of that expansion capital.

Open Road’s Response

In September 2021, Open Road provided a $1 Million loan enabling Husk to restart its growth while it waited for the $10M+ in committed financing to come in.

This was the second loan Husk received from Open Road. As a returning customer, Husk’s first roadblock in 2018 was caused by a change in Tanzanian regulations that resulted in an investment being delayed for five months. Because of this unexpected event, Husk's management team faced the problem of potentially running out of cash on its balance sheet before new equity funds could be made available. Open Road provided a $500,000 loan to Husk that enabled them to continue their operations and retain key employees.

To date, Husk has built and now operates more than 200 minigrids making it the largest minigrid company in the world. Husk averages 16 new minigrids per month and has been able to attract over $40 million in equity, and expects to close another $100 million in funding. Most recently, it has also become the first minigrid company to achieve profitability.

"Accessing funds to keep a business growing is expected when facing a black swan event like Covid-19. In 1H of 2018, we raised money from Open Road to deal with merger control filing issues with the Tanzania government, which was a painfully slow process. Further, in 2021, we needed capital to double down on growth, especially as we were coming out of the Covid-19 lockdowns in India. I see asking for help as a sign of strength and not weakness."
Manoj Sinha, Co-Founder and CEO
Husk Power Systems