CLEAN 24 HOUR
OUR JOURNEY STARTED IN 2011
The idea was not to build technology first, but instead to first understand customers’ needs and what they could afford. From those insights, the team could then develop technology that exactly fit customer demand.
HOW IT STARTED
It started with hitchhiking in Malawi. ZOLA Electric’s roots start in a trip co-founder Xavier Helgesen took in 2007 to Malawi. He ended up in a fishing village on the shores of Lake Malawi to a local family’s house for dinner. He learned that his hosts relied on dirty, expensive kerosene to light their homes. He began wondering why nobody he met had even a small solar power system. Was this a technology problem or something else?
Five years later, ZOLA Electric was launched initially known as Off-Grid Electric when Xavier, along his two co-founders Josh Pierce and Erica Mackey, moved to Tanzania to provide energy access to rural communities that lacked any grid infrastructure.
Today, ZOLA is the leading brand in the markets it serves, offering a full hardware and software based energy ladder that can scale to solve any energy problem – rural, urban, off-grid, on-grid, residential or commercial. ZOLA Electric is currently serving 1 million users, across two continents in over 10 countries. The mission from the beginning was solving energy access in all forms, and today ZOLA is making that happen.
Our Executive Team
ZOLA Electric Board of Directors
2012 - Launched as "M-Power" in Tanzania
Off-Grid electric (ZOLA Electric) is launched as "M-Power" in Arusha, Tanzania, attracting its first 1,000 customers by the end of 2012.
2013 - SOLAR CITY JOINS THE BOARD
ZOLA earns its first institutional funding in the pay-as-you-go solar sector. SolarCity founder and CEO Lyndon Rive joins the board as ZOLA launches its second generation of hardware in Tanzania.
2014 - ZOLA Expands across TANZANIA
ZOLA rapidly expands across Tanzania with over ten thousand customers choosing the company’s products. ZOLA partners with the International Finance Corporation on a $7 Million facility for off-grid solar - another first in the industry.
2015 - LAUNCHED its 3rd GENERATION POWER PLATFORM
ZOLA raises growth capital in a funding round led by DBL Partners. Nancy Pfund joins the board. ZOLA launches its third-generation power platform, which increases power capacity 10 times over previous generations.
2016 - ZOLA EXPANDS TO RWANDA
ZOLA and EDF Energy announce a joint venture to expand energy access in in Rwanda.
2017 - ZOLA expands to IVORY COAST
ZOLA and EDF Energy announce a joint venture to expand energy access in Ivory Coast.
2017 - ZOLA INTRODUCED FLEX
ZOLA FLEX launched as the best-in-class plug-and-play, pre-paid solar system. ZOLA closes a growth funding round with investments from Helios Partners and GE Ventures.
2018 - ZOLA EXPANDS TO GHANA
ZOLA and EDF Energy announce a joint venture to expand energy access in Ghana.
2019 - ZOLA EXPANDS TO NIGERIA
ZOLA targets both off-grid and on-grid house holds.
2019 - POWERING 1 MILLION
ZOLA energizes more than 1 million users daily.
2020 - ZOLA LAUNCHES INFINITY
ZOLA launches INFINITY, the Integrated Power System
2020 - ZOLA's first Mini grid, Rwanda
The 120 kWp Gakagati project currently powers 931 homes, 58 businesses, 3 religious centres, a school, a health center and 5 irrigation systems, with an expected gradual capacity expansion to 240kWp over 2 years. ZOLA Electric’s groundbreaking INFINITY integrated power system is the core of the distributed mini-grid.
Awards & Recognitions
OUR PROUD PARTNERS
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