Tilburg - May 23, 2019
Hello Rural Spark supporters,
We have something very nice to offer!
As we are growing rapidly in Sub-Saharan Africa rapidly, now being present in seven countries, Rural Spark is entering a new phase. To finance this growth we have launched our crowdfunding campaign today. You can now become part of Rural Spark.
Not only are we growing in Africa rapidly, we now are also able to offer a complete package to our partners: our smart, modular kit, an integrated service platform, and access to finance through government program. Now we can really reach a lot of people, generate large impact while changing the market, and realise good revenues.
Your investment will help us making a revolutionary change in the lives of more than 200.000 people, all in a sustainable and scalable for-profit way, offering healthy revenues to Rural Spark and its investors.
Check out the campaign and join our cause.
We are very enthusiastic about what’s happening. We’re growing rapidly. Growth means economy of scale and a profitable organisation. We’re realised quite a bit of the investment already, but you can still join in.
I think it’s an interesting moment to join, as we’re about to close some large deals to distribute large numbers of our kits to Africa. You can still be a part of that by putting your money where your mouth is, and electrify the world while making some revenue!
Let’s make it happen.
May 24, 2019 - Yesterday afternoon we signed a deal with Jeroen Kromme for an investment in Rural Spark of € 100.000. Jeroen is already an investor and shareholder in Rural Spark. We are happy to see him investing again! Jeroen has witnessed the fast growth we are going through and the big opportunities that are ahead. We are happy to have Jeroen on board as he believes in the concept of a social enterprise: solving the big challenges in the world with entrepreneurship. And Jeroen believes that Rural Spark will grow to become one of the major energy players in the decentralized energy market. Join us!
May 28, 2019 - This week an article on Rural Spark was published by the Dutch edition of Business Insider: on why we consider Africa to be much more promising than India. Read the article here: www.businessinsider.nl/rural-spark-zonne-energie-afrika-india/
"The social impact is huge. The environment benefits as well if people use clean energy instead of kerosene, wood or petroleum", says Harmen van Heist. "But Rural Spark is about entrepreneurship. We need to make profit."
May 30, 2019 - Here are 7 ways in which we make an impact:
Electrification has a huge impact on peoples life, our planet and the economic inclusion. Quite impressive right?
June 3, 2019 - We are proud to hear such kind words from Emile Aarts, rector magnificus of Tilburg University: "I'm following Rural Spark since the beginning and it is amazing to see how the combination of a technical idea and a smart business approach can now have a huge impact in the world".
June 4, 2019 - In a series of articles in Dutch newspaper Trouw, products that claim to be sustainable are critically reviewed. Today they write about Rural Spark.
Wim Sinke, professor at the University of Amsterdam is enthusiastic: "Socially and economically a sustainable and thought out system".
Arnold Tukker, professor of industrial ecology at Leiden University calls Rural Spark a sustainable enterprise: “It fights energy poverty and it is green energy.”
June 11, 2019 - Co-founder Harmen van Heist was live at BNR Nieuwsradio, questioned by Quote500 entrepreneur Maasbert Schouten and radio-host Thomas van Zijl at BNRZakendoen. These questions allowed Harmen to really explain the concept of Rural Spark. Check out this 6min broadcast (in Dutch).
June 13, 2019 - Daphne Pit is one of our advisory board members. Confident about our traction, she expects us to be the company to push the industry forward.
Update June 21, 2019 - Thank you for your support! It was an interesting month for sure! Not only did we exceed our target, we also had a lot of media coverage, and there is more to come.
Because of this attention, we continue to receive requests regarding our campaign. Of course we are very happy with the current results, but as additional investment would allow us to accelerate impact and growth, Rural Spark and SYMBID have decided to extend the campaign till July 30th.
We do this by having a mid-closing on Monday June 24th, and only then extend it till the end of July. So, in case you have invested before June 24th, you will receive the convertible agreement as soon as possible. Investing after June 24th means we'll do another closing in August.
Might you have any questions, we'll be here happy to answer them.
June 25, 2019 - The local newspaper ‘Brabants Dagblad’ covered Rural Spark in a full page article on how 3 friends started a company that grew out to electrify Africa to leapfrog outdated solutions and offer the right solutions and support systems right away to electrify Africa to make a huge difference.
Read the full article here.
Sometimes interviews take you back to the days when it all started in a small neighbourhood in 's-Hertogenbosch. Happy we've now grown a strong and experienced team to face the opportunities and challenges ahead to leapfrog outdated solutions and offer the right solutions and support systems right away to electrify Africa to make a huge difference. Shout out to all who support us and to a great team.
July 7, 2019 - Last week, Het Financieele Dagblad covered a full page article on Rural Spark. Here Marcel shares where we come from, the latest developments and the expectations for the next 18 months with updated solutions hitting the market.
It's interesting how we can achieve a lot here in The Netherlands with an energy transition, but we can gain so much more in Africa. We just have to do it the right way in Africa, instead of waiting for them to replicate the polluting model we want to get rid of in 'the west'.
July 9, 2019 - We are very proud to have committed to the Customer Protection Code for the off-grid solar sector. This code is extremely important to move forward, responsibly.
The code was developed by Gogla - "the Voice of the Off-Grid Solar Energy Industry" - and accepted by all its members in the sector. We believe it's a big step forwards not only in taking the sector forward in a sustainable way, but also in taking people along in the rapid developments. Only responsible development and innovation ensures the progress in the sector is supported.
Check out the inpiring video on the Customer Protection Code and what it it embodies: https://www.ruralspark.com/customer-protection-code
For Rural Spark, focussing on long term solutions for energy access, we are proud to commit to the code.
July 24, 2019 - After finishing an interesting and practical workshop with the team of Tatanga Energy in Zimbabwe, we are launching the first pilot together.
After this pilot, Tatanga Energy and Rural Spark aim to electrify large parts of Africa. This news comes at the same time that Rural Spark confirms its first larger deal in which Rural Spark is able to offer a 3 year loan to its partners, ensured by a program of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Being able to offer this financial service to partners will be a big game changer, as distribution companies often face working-capital challenges to order large quantities of the Rural Spark solutions. Now Rural Spark is able to offer her partners a unique proposition: receive the products and pay for them in 3 years, while Rural Spark still receives the money in full upon delivery. This allows local distribution partners to align their cashflow with the financing model they provide to the users of the kit, and Rural Spark to provide its services to more partners in larger quantities.
The conclusion of a very successful campaign: with raising almost €500.000, we hit about 250% of our target. Thank you for the support. We will soon invite all investors for a toast to celebrate the success. Now full focus on electrification of Africa, a beautiful and important endeavour! Special thanks to Symbid and Blyde for helping us to build this successful campaign, great job!
August 29, 2019 - Tilburg University published an interesting article on how our Spark focusses on Africa!
Co-founder Harmen graduated from this university where he got inspired to really make a large impact and leapfrogging innovation by focusing on 'emerging markets'. Check out the article and share your thoughts:
Read the full article in Tilburg University Magazine