Efficiency for Access Grant Supports Amped in Addressing Energy Access and Cold Storage Challenges Across Africa
December 18, 2023 – Redwood City, CA, USA – Today, Amped Innovation announced scaling manufacturing production for its newest productive appliance, the EasyFreeze, to meet growing demand for its solar-powered cold storage system. Only 4 percent of rural areas in Africa have access to refrigeration, which is key to improving public health to refrigerate vaccines; improving livelihoods and incomes of small shop owners who sell perishables; and reducing post-harvest food loss for farmers.
Since founding the company in 2016, Amped has sold over 200,000 solar home systems across 30 countries globally. It has raised $5 million in equity financing from Autodesk Foundation, Engie Rassembleurs d'Energies, Schneider Electric Energy Access, Alphamundi, Finca Ventures, Alphamundi, Global Partnerships, angels, and private individual investors on the Republic platform. Amped also secured $6 million for a revolving Working Capital Facility (WCF) from EDFI ElectriFI, and recently expanded this facility by $1 million USD to increase energy access in Burundi.
“The Amped team has value-engineered a much needed solution to address cold storage and energy access gaps,” said Didier Kibangu Niati, Portfolio Officer at EDFI Management Company. “The team's proven track record of scaling mass market products lends itself to the future of the EasyFreeze, which is critically important for Sub-Saharan Africans.”
“Once again Amped Innovation has brought energy efficiency and affordability to a new level," said Christophe Poline, Sustainable Investments Director at Schneider Electric. “With EasyFreeze, Amped Innovation will enable families and small businesses in rural Africa to get access to cooling services that have been needed for a long time. Congratulations to the team!”
The EasyFreeze Advantage
The 100 liter EasyFreeze chest can run without sunshine for up to 40 hours, and freeze in under 1 hour (0ºC). Most importantly, the EasyFreeze is the first affordable off-grid cold storage solution in Africa. According to a recent Impact Report from Efficiency for Access, IKEA Foundation and UK Aid, the authors found that solar fridges are usually cost-prohibitive for rural Sub-Saharan Africa, retailing between $1,300-$2,000 per system. The EasyFreeze is:
Affordable: Less than $900 with Pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) financing.
Energy Efficient: At least 38 percent more efficient than leading competitors.
Autonomous: At least 89 percent longer autonomy, staying cold for up to 40 hours without power.
Fast: Up to 22x faster freezing capabilities, i.e. in less than 30 minutes (8ºC) and freeze in under 1 hour (0ºC).
Safe: Features include tilt and travel operation cutoff, thermal & overcurrent shutdown and solar panel reverse polarity protection.
“Our goal is to build universally accessible products,” said Amped Innovation Co-founder and Co-CEO, Andi Kleissner. “With the EasyFreeze, we don’t want to sacrifice quality for price, so we focus heavily on value-engineering designs with quality materials that enable best-in-class safety and performance.”
Ramping EasyFreeze Production to Meet Market Demand
Amped will be delivering its first container orders to distribution partners including Deevabits in Kenya, RDG Collective in Zambia and others beginning in Q1 of 2024. Amped will be scaling its manufacturing and has a capacity to produce 100 EasyFreezes per day.
"In Kenya, countless small businesses, particularly in off-grid or weak-grid areas, desperately require dependable and cost-effective cold storage solutions for meat, fish, perishable goods, water, milk and various beverages," explained David Wanjau, Founder and CEO of Deevabits. "It's essential for these business owners to have the freedom to manage their inventory according to their needs, rather than being obligated to purchase a certain amount of soft drinks monthly as a condition for acquiring refrigeration equipment. We are thrilled to introduce the EasyFreeze to the Kenyan market and collaborate with Amped, empowering our customers with greater autonomy and choice."
“We’re excited to give our customers more cold storage choice and bring the EasyFreeze to market in Zambia,” said Rune Gunnar, Founder and CEO of RDG Collective. “There is significant untapped demand for affordable and ultra-efficient freezers for households, small businesses and medical clinics. By adding the EasyFreeze to our product portfolio, we enhance RDG’s position as Zambian’s premium off-grid distributor, providing products which empower users to improve their livelihoods and the livelihoods of those in their communities.”
About Amped Innovation
Amped Innovation is a public benefit corporation that builds affordable, reliable solar systems and appliances for small businesses and households in emerging markets. It’s sold over 200,000 off-grid solar home systems across 30 countries in Africa and Asia and continues to build its product line of highly-efficient solar powered appliances. Learn more about Amped Innovation on its website and following along on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and X.