Why Odyssey’s acquisition of Ferntech is a positive indicator for the mini-grid sector 

SF partner Odyssey Energy Solutions recently announced its acquisition of the remote monitoring and control technology, Ferntech. This development will allow Odyssey to expand its service offering and provide multiple stakeholders with a more comprehensive asset management platform to scale investment in the renewable mini-grid sector. 

Co-created by SF and Factor[e] in 2017 and co-funded with UK aid and USAID, Odyssey has successfully built the mini-grid sector’s only investment and asset management platform, digitising the entire life cycle of mini-grid projects, with more than 1,000 developers, financiers and public sector agencies using the platform.  

Odyssey’s acquisition of the Ferntech technology will allow platform-users to remotely diagnose and fix technical faults in a timely and cost-effective manner and aggregate and analyse critical system data to improve the viability of minigrid business models.  

This could benefit governments looking to monitor system performance for results-based financing, as well as mini-grid developers looking to reduce operational and maintenance costs and investors looking to monitor portfolio performance 

“We’re delighted about the acquisition of Ferntech and the opportunity it presents to expand the toolkit we offer our clients and users,” said Emily McAteer, CEO and Co-Founder, Odyssey.  “We’ve successfully worked with the Ferntech team and their technology for several years. The acquisition significantly advances our mission to enable streamlined development, financing, and operations of distributed infrastructure projects at scale.”  

Increased finance is required for mini-grids to contribute to SDG7 and 13 

A just and inclusive energy transition, one that alleviates energy poverty and mitigates climate change, requires supporting social enterprises to deliver products and services that reach low-income consumers in a way that is affordable, sustainable and scalable and catalysing entire markets into addressing the UN Sustainable Development Goals.  

“Nurturing the renewable mini-grid sector is critical to deliver universal energy access to Africa and avoid over 600 m/t CO2e by 2030,” said Richard Gomes, Shell Foundation’s Acting CEO. “This consolidation will improve data monitoring, risk assessment and developer performance – which will better enable investors and governments to rapidly increase the sector’s reach. ” 

Odyssey’s aim is to provide a comprehensive solution across stakeholders to mobilise more capital into the mini-grid sector, get more mini-grids built and improve performance and evaluation; the acquisition of Ferntech will allow it to support the sector to quickly and efficiently provide cleaner and more reliable electricity to more communities living without it.