ImpactAlpha, May 7 – Washington, D.C.-based SparkMeter is trying to improve electricity access for the world’s two billion energy-poor with a simple energy metering system that can be used by any utility or microgrid system. The company has raised $7 million and converted $4 million in debt and interest towards a targeted $14 million funding round, according to an SEC filing.
SparkMeter’s system works by installing its meters in local households and businesses. Energy usage data is then transferred over low-bandwidth internet and monitored via SparkMeter’s cloud-based platform, ThunderCloud. Where Internet is unavailable, utilities can log into the system’s base stations directly to access user data.
SparkMeter launched in 2013 and is operating in 22 countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, according to the company’s website. In addition to improving household and community energy access, the company says it aims to improve services for utility customers connected to a poor quality grid and to help microgrid operators demonstrate commercial viability.
SparkMeter has been backed previously by the Shell Foundation, energy venture fund Factor[e] Ventures, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Global Innovation Fund, Power Africa and others.
*An earlier version of this article cited $11 million in new commitments to SparkMeter. It raised $7 million in new commitments and converted $4 million. We regret the error.