New Grantee Announcement: Mobile for Development Utilities Innovation Fund

In February and July 2017, we re-opened calls for applications to the Mobile for Development Utilities Innovation Fund. The February round became our most competitive selection to date (which you can read about here) and we are thrilled to present the first of our new grantees. The next set will be announced mid-2018.

 

Our new portfolio reflects some exciting new trends in mobile-enabled utility services. For the first time we’ve awarded several grants to mobile operators leading on energy and WASH services, two of which will be revealed at a later date. In the energy sector, we are supporting the bundling of additional appliances with PAYG solar systems, helping customers gain access to smartphones and cookstoves. Water and sanitation applications were particularly competitive in this selection round. The selected grantees in these sectors will deliver innovative models that leverage mobile money, digital platforms to improve the efficiency of service delivery, bill-payment and maintenance.

To read more about each grant, click on their logo:

In Burkina Faso, Orange is piloting pre-paid smart metering on mini-grids in partnership with SINCO, a cooperative that manages electricity distribution through rural grids. This smart metering, software-as-a-service solution will enable SINCO’s customers to manage their energy expenditure. This prevents households from being regularly disconnected after single-instalment, post-paid bills exceed their ability to pay. The smart-meter solution will leverage mobile money, machine-to-machine connectivity, SMS and other mobile technologies.

Grant type: Seed
Project Location: Burkina Faso

Through our grant, Orange Money Madagascar launched a Solar Home System service on a pay-as-you-go basis, partnership with d.light, a supplier of solar home system products. The project uses mobile money and leverages the Orange brand and will result in improved access to electricity for underserved households around Antananarivo, the northern and western areas of Madagascar.

Grant type: Seed
Project Location: Madagascar

The purpose of the grant is to launch a mobile based utility services platform in partnership with Practical Action Bangladesh, Robi Axiata Ltd and municipalities that will use mobile technology to provide improved water and sanitation related utility services to the residents of the municipalities. This platform will give customers the convenience to request municipal services using their mobile phones and to pay using Robi cash mobile wallet.

Grant type: Seed
Project Location: Bangladesh

Vitalite will offer smartphones and cookstoves for Vitalite solar home system customers in Zambia. The smartphones will be sold on a pay-as-you-go basis, improving affordability of smartphone devices, while the improved cook stoves will provide clean and affordable energy.

Grant type: Seed
Project Location: Zambia

Drinkwell will use their GSMA grant to scale the use of their Water ATM-enabled system to provide improved water services to residents of Dhaka, Bangladesh who currently lack access to affordable, safe drinking water.

Grant type: Market Validation
Project Location: Bangladesh

Following their past GSMA grant (more on the results in a future blog), we awarded CityTaps a new grant to develop CTSuite service, a water utility subscriber management and pay as you go (PAYGO) smart meter solution. This technology will provide new and improved prepaid on-premises water services to the homes of urban residents of Niamey, that currently do not have access to clean, safe, reliable, and affordable water.

Grant type: Seed
Project Location: Niger

Svadha is a social business building better rural sanitation markets through aggregation and innovation of quality sanitation products and services which are delivered through an army of entrepreneurs and facilitated by ICT. With GSMA, Svadha is developing and launching SaniMark, a platform to integrate and enhance the sanitation ecosystem through ecommerce and customized, data-driven business support for entrepreneurs.

Grant type: Seed
Location: India

Kampala Capital City Authority – The purpose of this grant is to improve access to safe and reliable feacal sludge collection and transportation services for the residents in the informal settlements of Kampala city, Uganda. The grant will upgrade the pilot GIS tracking system enabled by a mobile application and call center, build capacity and promote pit emptying business in partnership with National Water and Sewerage Corporation, GIZ and the private emptiers associations that will use information and mobile technology (including mobile money) to empty pit latrines.

Grant type: Market Validation
Project Location: Uganda

For more information on our full portfolio of grants, see our Innovation Fund map. We will be announcing two further grantees in the near future, so stay tuned and follow us on Twitter at @GSMAm4d.

This initiative is currently funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), and supported by the GSMA and its members.

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