Invested Development and GVEP International recently conducted a survey in collaboration with Power Africa and UN Foundation’s Energy Access Practitioner Network to investigate the challenges that energy enterprises experience in emerging markets. Of course, company financing is a big issue, but we wanted to dig deeper into manufacturing, human resources, consumer financing, and sales. The goal was to identify the types of support products and services that the industry can provide to move the needle … read more

“While education unlocks the door to development, increasingly it is information technologies that can unlock the door to education”- Kofi Anaan, 2003

It’s widely accepted that technology has improved education in many ways: more efficient communication, better story telling, more accurate assessment, comprehensive access to information and research, just to name a few. Unfortunately, technology has also widened the education gap between affluent and impoverished schools. Education technology (EdTech) tools are often expensive, energy thirsty, … read more

Our December 12th post introduced the importance of energy storage; today, we take a deeper look at where innovation is needed and the technologies that make it all possible.

Energy storage technology: more than just batteries

When we mention energy storage, your phone and computer batteries are likely the first technologies to come to mind; AA batteries are probably a close second. This is because they’ve become such a daily part of our lives. In … read more

ID’s investment focus on alternative energy solutions includes not only renewable energies like solar, but also innovative ways to store energy. Energy storage technologies have the potential to radically transform the global energy landscape in the coming years, helping to solve key issues for integration and deployment of renewable energy systems. The technologies are crucial both in developed and developing markets and present an exciting opportunity for innovation. This post will discuss the role of … read more

Since we first announced the Impact Factoring Fund, we’ve been working hard to help our portfolio companies take advantage of the opportunity to access working capital. One of our portfolio companies, Frogtek, is particularly excited to apply the IFF to its efforts of financing tablets for their customers in Mexico and Colombia.

Frogtek’s innovative technology is an application, Tiendatek, which allows micro shopkeepers to manage sales and inventory on their smartphone or tablet. … read more

As we introduced in our last post on this topic, Kenya is using several policy tools to stimulate renewable energy development and grow its national energy supply. With rapidly growing demand, the government has clearly identified renewable energy, such as solar, wind, and geothermal, as a reliable and sustainable way to increase energy supply.

Renewable energy production presents the potential for income and employment generation. It also encourages private investment while minimizing environmental harm. … read more

Kenya’s National Energy Policy is designed “to facilitate provision of clean, sustainable, affordable, reliable and secure energy services at least cost while protecting the environment.” The efforts come alongside a critical time for Kenya – economic growth and energy demand are higher than ever. The current supply, although increasing slowly, cannot keep up with demand. In response, the Kenyan government is using three policy tools to facilitate the adoption of renewable energy. The aim is … read more

Our portfolio companies exhibit determination and persistence in their journey to scale. We’re proud of all milestones, whether big or small, as they indicate growth and scale, allowing the benefit of innovative technologies to reach further.  Promethean Power has made excellent progress so far in 2012, and today we’d like to share the most recent update on their journey.


Secretary of State Hilary Clinton recognized the Promethean team for their work. On her trip to … read more

Today, there are over 60 million mobile cellular subscriptions in Africa – an astounding increase from less than 5 million ten years ago. Unlike anywhere else, mobile phone subscriptions quickly leapfrogged over fixed landline subscriptions, some calling it “The Death of the Fixed Line.” Similarly, mobile broadband is experiencing a much faster uptake than fixed broadband. In this post, we discuss the policy, infrastructure, and accessibility considerations that have allowed mobile to be … read more

Over the past few years, ID has worked to catalyze risk capital for underserved markets. To date, we have done this with direct investments from our BSP Fund, business co-creation through our BETA program, and deal syndication with fellow investors. Now, we are ready to announce our latest effort to support high-growth enterprises working in underserved markets.

The Impact Factoring Fund solves one of the most critical inhibitors to high-growth impact entrepreneurship. It levels … read more

At Invested Development, we frequently herald the impact that mobile technology can create for the underserved in their daily lives. Mobile technology, specifically information and communication services, has also dramatically increased the effectiveness of disaster relief services. Having access to information and communication greatly helps those affected by natural disaster and those who are trying to help. There is an opportunity for innovation to increase the impact that ICT and mobile technology has on people … read more

To date, we’ve introduced both the benefits and the inefficiencies of informal savings groups. Today, we’ll share how mobile technology can improve informal savings groups. Injecting the benefits of mobile money, increased communication, and innovative apps into the savings group model can displace the inefficiencies that exist in trust, convenience, and security. Importantly, mobile technology does not compromise the intrinsic benefits of the savings groupsread more

Over 70% of people in emerging markets do not have a formal bank account (Goss, Mas, Radcliffe, & Stark, 2011). Despite exclusion from what we consider formal banking, many people in emerging markets have figured out their own ways to save money. An increasing number of people are participating in informal savings groups.

Our goal in this series is to explore the effectiveness of savings groups. In this post, we’ll explain how they work and … read more

In our recent post, Africa’s Big Three, we compared Nigeria – Africa’s third largest economy – to South Africa and Egypt – the first and second largest, respectively. We discovered that added mobile penetration could boost Nigeria’s GDP to outgrow Egypt’s by 2020. This prediction is a result of increased mobile penetration and its positive effects on economic growth. In this post, we’re following up on our prediction with a discussion of another benefit of … read more

India Energy Inequality

In a first-of-its-kind plan, the Indian government announced the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission with the goal of achieving 20 GW of installed solar capacity by 2020. An incredible ambition, many are wondering if it is possible. There’s no denying that the country needs it, but is it possible to garner enough investment in solar to install 20 GW of capacity by 2020? We looked at several macroeconomic factors to determine the feasibility of the … read more

We take pride in each one of our portfolio companies, and it’s always rewarding to see them recognized for their work. Simpa Networks has been quietly walking the walk and is now talking the talk, evidenced by article after article popping up in our Google Alerts. The media stories on Simpa spotlight the need for alternative energy and accompanying innovative financing solutions for the under- and un-electrified. Now, mainstream media like Inc Magazine and National read more

Editor’s Note: This is the last post in Sean Smith’s series from the Nairobi office. Catch up on anything you missed by clicking the links below. 

The Kenyan Context 

These groups of Rich People and Nerds are slowly beginning to identify each other.  They are slowly feeling each other out and gaining a better understanding read more
Editor’s Note: This is the third installment of Sean Smith’s series on Rich People, Nerds, and the Kenyan Context. Be sure to catch up on Part 1 and Part 2 if you missed them. 

 

The Nerds

The Rich People are only relevant and useful if there are large numbers of “Nerds” that are hacking away at new technologies and scheming how to launch the next big thing. One of the most remarkable things about … read more
Editor’s Note: This post is the second installment in Sean Smith’s series on Rich People, Nerds, and the Kenyan Context. Click here if you missed Part 1.

The Rich People

The most important kind of Rich Person a startup hub can have is successful technology entrepreneurs that are looking to support new startups.  Often, this is subject to a chicken and egg dilemma. Without support, introductions, and investment from successful industry veterans it is a … read more

Editor’s Note: This is the first post in a series from Sean Smith, who recently moved to Nairobi, Kenya to open Invested Development’s East African office. 

Having recently moved to Kenya to establish ID’s first international office, I am often asked by friends, family, and colleagues a simple question, “Why Nairobi?” My answer is often just as simple, “Because Nairobi is positioning itself to become the Silicon Valley of Africa.”  What isn’t so simple … read more