African startups win M4D Utilities Innovation Fund backing


Startups from Niger and Zambia have been awarded grant money by the M4D Utilities Innovation Fund, which awards grants to test and scale the use of mobile to increase access to energy, water, and sanitation services.

Disrupt Africa reported in August startups were invited to apply for the M4D Utilities Innovation Fund, supported by the UK Government and the Scaling Off-Grid Energy Grand Challenge for Development.

Seven grants have now been awarded, with two African startups securing backing as well as mobile operator Orange Burkina Faso and Ugandan public utility KCCA.

Niger’s CityTaps has been awarded funding to develop its CTSuite service, a water utility subscriber management and pay-as-you-go (PAYG) smart meter solution. In Zambia, Vitalite will offer smartphones and cookstoves for Vitalite solar home system customers in Zambia, also on a PAYG basis.

The next set of grants will be announced in mid-2018.


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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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