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Sadif heralds Okra Solar investments

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Okra Solar provides software solutions. Photo supplied

Sadif heralds Okra Solar investments

The SmartAxiata Digital Innovation Fund (Sadif) announced its latest investments into Okra Solar, a Cambodian-based solar energy software company and Sousdey Cambodia, a digital marketing platform and an enterprise solution for customer relationship management, it said on Tuesday.

Founded in 2016, Okra is an Internet-of-Things (IoT) company that helps rural communities access affordable solar technology using its advanced distributed energy technology.

Okra co-founder Afnan Hannan said connectivity is crucial to collect sensor data and send the controls required to assure the communities have access to energy.

“We are very excited to receive support from Sadif. It was a natural choice to partner with Smart as we already use network connectivity to remotely manage and control our Internet of Things microgrids,” he said.

Its software enables solar panels and batteries to be connected to smart microgrids, providing remote households with access to electricity, according to the release.

It said Okra currently provides electricity to more than 500 people and 100 households in Cambodia.

Electricity essential

Smart Axiata CEO Thomas Hundt said electricity is essential for human livelihood, but more than 1.2 billion people around the world are still living without consistent power.

“Okra’s differentiated technology and business model has the capacity to deliver and positively respond to those living off-grid in Cambodia and beyond,” he said.

In this round of capital injection, Sadif is co-investing alongside Schneider Energy Access Fund (on behalf of Schneider Electric). Prior to Sadif funding, Okra received support from prominent organisations including UKAid and SNV Netherlands Development Organisation.

Sousdey Cambodia founder and CEO Djibril Cisse said Sadif’s funding will greatly support its platform development while reinforcing sales and marketing efforts and expanding its product portfolio.

“Sousdey looks forward to collaborating with Smart, Forte and MSP to help access enterprise clients and build a world-class enterprise product,” he said.

Sadif is Cambodia’s first digital venture capital fund managed by Mekong Strategic Partners with investments from Smart Axiata and Forte Insurance.