A bitcoin mining firm in Kenya named Gridless has received US $2 million in early investment to assist the growth of bitcoin mines across Africa. Gridless works to provide fresh energy generation to rural populations in East Africa.
In rural areas of Africa where extra energy is not being used, Gridless develops, installs, and runs bitcoin mining sites alongside small-scale renewable energy producers. Gridless was founded earlier this year by veterans of the connectivity, infrastructure, and software industry in East Africa. In remote areas without conventional industrial or commercial clients, Gridless acts as the anchor tenant, funding the building and overseeing the management of data centers.
The company’s mission is to support African energy producers in their efforts to electrify the continent and provide more accessible power to those living in rural areas. It employs bitcoin mining as a tool to quicken industry growth, expand geographical distribution, and safeguard the bitcoin network.
The African hydroelectric energy firm HydroBox has a contract with Gridless for five project trials in rural Kenya, three of which are now in operation. In the near future, the organization intends to grow into further regions of East Africa.
With the help of a pre-seed round headed by Factor[e], which is also taking part in this round, and a $2 million seed round led by Stillmark and Block, Inc., this growth will be supported.
“Africa needs affordable electricity,” said Erik Hersman, CEO of Gridless. “Our work in supporting renewable energy mini-grid developers fills a gap, helping developers expand faster, be more sustainable, and serve thousands of households. This investment, and the high caliber of partners that are coming alongside us, means that we can accelerate our rollout knowing that we have both the capital and strategic support required.”
According to Alyse Killeen, managing partner at Stillmark, her company is focused on making investments in businesses that are advancing the bitcoin ecosystem in ways that provide numerous people with long-term value and solutions.
“Gridless does this by bringing a socially and environmentally conscious approach to bitcoin mining, one that provides tangible benefits by way of access to electricity for communities in rural parts of East Africa,” she said.
“The Gridless leadership team is comprised of veteran entrepreneurs in the technology space with substantial roots in the region. They are well-respected amongst their colleagues and peers, and we are excited about the opportunity to further support their efforts.”
Block, a company co-founded by Twitter founder Jack Dorsey in 2009, and its lead for bitcoin mining and wallet Thomas Templeton said Gridless represented a close strategic alignment with Block’s vision of ensuring that the bitcoin network increasingly leverages clean energy in addition to bitcoin computational centers around the world.
“This work can support positive community externalities while also helping to secure the distributed infrastructure behind bitcoin’s monetary ecosystem,” he said.
While North America, Europe, and Asia had previously dominated the world’s bitcoin mining, Hersman claimed that Africa offered a fantastic potential to further spread mining throughout the world and improve network security.
“Renewable energy is abundant on the continent. This presents an excellent potential for profits for both energy generators and miners as well as the ability to deliver a real positive impact on the communities where it is put to use,” he said.