Okra Solar, an Australian renewable energy deep-tech company, raised $2.1 million in a pre-series A funding round. Explorer Investments and Didendum led the funding round, along with Schneider Electric Energy Access & Autodesk Foundation.

SDGx, a private UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) technology fund and advisory group, also participated in the round.

The company intends to use the new funds to scale its commercial operations and product development as it expands throughout Nigeria and Haiti.

The company’s hardware and software solutions enable access to productive and renewable electricity across Nigeria, the Philippines, Haiti, and Cambodia. Okra Solar has partnered with some of the most inventive players – SAO Capital, Creeds Energy, Konexa, and First Electric – in launching Mesh-Grids in remote areas. Okra Solar’s Mesh-Grid technology has been deployed by UN-funded programs and approved by the National Electrification Program for subsidies so that energy developers can recover more than half of their capex expenditure after deploying Mesh-Grids.

“It feels great to lock in this funding to accelerate our growth. We’re excited to continue charging towards providing energy access for the 770 million people in off-grid communities. Our Mesh-Grids leverage IoT and automation to make last-mile electrification affordable and sustainable – even for the most remote villages on the planet. Our innovation has spurred global demand from utility companies,” said Afnan Hannan, CEO of Okra Solar.

In May 2022, Ambient Photonics raised $31 million in Series A funding. The company plans to use the new funds to build the US’s largest low-light solar cell production facility. Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund and Ecosystem Integrity Fund (EIF) led the financing, with Tony Fadell’s Future Shape and I Squared Capital participating.

According to Mercom’s Q1 2022 solar funding and M&A report, global VC funding for the solar sector in Q1 2022 came to $1.2 billion in 26 deals, a 45% decrease compared to $2.2 billion raised in 19 deals in Q4 2021. Year-over-year funding was 19% higher compared to Q1 2021.