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SolarGridX

Crowd-investing offering digital ownership of solar projects

UAE
Market: Financial services, Blockchain, Crypto currency
Stage of the project: Prototype or product is ready

Date of last change: 11.10.2020
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Idea

SolarGridX is a green crowd-investing platform that lets people buy/sell “fractional” asset-backed tokenized ownership of Solar Panels starting at $6 and earn up to 15%* ROI from sale of electricity generated by the projects. The ownership of solar panels is sold in the form of digital tokens on the basis of area: 1 Solar Cell = 1 SGX Token
SolarGridX lets anyone wishing to see their wealth increase with a sustainable investment option, invest their money so that schools, businesses, factories and even whole neighbourhoods can achieve their goals of going solar without any upfront cost.

Current Status

-Awarded at NEM blockchain challenge organized by Dubai Silicon Oasis May'19
-Launched our wallet application and deployed SGX token on NEM Blockchain
-Awarded 1st prize at fintech 2.0 organized by Department of Finance, Abu Dhabi April'19
-Awarded ‘Emerging Fintech Talent’ in MENA region at Fintech Abu Dhabi, Oct’19
-Awarded 1st Prize at BITS innovation challenge Dec'19
-Ranked among top 30 teams out of 2000+ startups for Startup BootCamp energy Australia, 2019 Dec'19
-We launched our iOS alpha investment app in Jan’20 (MVP)
-After 2 months of incubation at StartAD, we were awarded 1st prize which was sponsored by Global Green Growth Institute(GGGI) & UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment in April'20
- 7 Letter of Intents signed starting Jan'20 with commercial consumers in India as of June'20,
- 50+ computer science students across UAE universities test alpha iOS app
- Very positive feedback from industry experts
- 250+ customer interviews done until June'20
- Conquest Accelerator, Bangalore, India Top 10 out of 3000+ startups (Ongoing)
- OIC Youth Forum, Moscow Top 30 (Ongoing)
- Newchip Accelerator July Cohort, Austin, Texas
- Strategic partnership with Solar EPC in India with access of 5MW/$3 Million worth of signed deals bringing our solar CAC to be almost zero.
- Pilot test: 6kW Solar Plant ($3150) in Gujarat India; 6480 Solar Cells/ SGX Tokens; 14.01% p.a Projected Returns for SGX Holders; 173 Investors; 100% Funded in 9 days; 30% Electricity Savings for consumers. Please note this is a pilot project and a very small solar plant, our target consumers are commercial users who need more than 10,000 Solar Cells.
- SolarGridX selected as Middle east entry for TiE-U Global to be held at Silicon Valley, Sep’20(ongoing)
- Top 2 among 3000+ applications at Conquest Accelerator, India (ongoing)
- Entrepreneurship World Cup UAE National Finals held by hub 71- Top 10

Market

Profile 1:
-Age (21-50) with stable income above 15000 AED+ and comfortable with technology
- Key Benefit: Alternative market to invest in; Higher returns in a stable market with low-entry point
Profile 2:
-Age: 22-50; Environment conscious, stable income
-Key benefit: Investing for environment


Consumer profile:
-Commercial/institutional consumer with good credit rating
- Ready to sign 20-year PPA
Key benefit:
-up to 30% low energy tariff than conventional supply
- Clean energy source for brand building
Our target investor base is in UAE/MENA and solar energy consumer base is in India. where the majority of the population can’t afford the set up cost of Solar Panels, so the move from fossil to clean energy seems impossible without finding the solution to this problem.
On the other hand, retail investors in MENA region are actively looking for safe investment options in stable markets with low entry point and good returns. Out of 200+ customers we interviewed 95% of them felt UAE/ MENA doesn’t have safe investment options. There is a growing need for Sustainable investment option that promotes clean energy. We have divided our go-to-market strategy in 3 phases: In first 2 years, we will target environment conscious people and cryptocurrency investors with help of targeted ads on fb, linkedin and youtube in UAE. We will also partner with 3rd party solar panel suppliers in India for consumer base.

In 2-4 years, While proving profits to existing investors
we will target retail investors who may or may not have anything for environment but would look to invest for good returns in stable market.
After 4 years, we will be running ads in newspapers and investor magazines to acquire more investors. We will also be partnering with big solar panel providers to increase profit margin on solar panels.

Problem or Opportunity

Problems faced by Consumers of Electricity in India:
Very high solar set up costs, takes about 8 years to break even; Rising electricity tariffs; Bad for the environment.
Problems faced by Retail Investors:
Lack of safe investment options with high returns & small ticket sizes; Non-green investments
Out of 250+ customer interviews we did 95% of retail investors do not know about any sustainable investments option, 75% feel there aren't accessible investment options which are safe/stable and have returns with smaller ticket size.

Our founding team belongs fr om India where affording the cost of Solar panels is not feasible for the majority of the population. Our CEO also had a family business of Solar in India which gives him first-hand experience of problems in the Solar Industry in India. Our team is based out of UAE & India wh ere the economy is falling & there are no safe investment options available. We saw the opportunity of how we can solve the investor problem in MENA (Initially due to regulatory environment) & solar problem in India with our platform.
TAM: Global solar assets financing stood at $120 billion last year. SAM: Out of that $3 billion were invested by the general public. With our solution, we look to increase this number significantly by making general public crowdfund solar panels.
SOM: In the next 2 years by just launching 50 crowdfunded solar sites we will generate revenue of $1.5 million.

Solution (product or service)

The ownership of solar panels is sold in the form of digital tokens on the basis of area,
1 Solar Cell = 1 SGX Token (Which is just a fraction of Solar Panel),
Just like you buy shares of a company from a stock exchange, you buy tokens from our exchange platform which gives users digital ownership of solar panels. By not physically owning solar panels and getting electricity benefits, we will be using their funding to install solar panels at feasible locations at zero-cost for consumers, electricity generated by those solar panels is sold to consumers at pay-per-kWh basis at a cheaper rate than a conventional source with Power Purchase Agreements (PPA’s) and returns flow back to SGX holders, making it an attractive green investment option.
demo: https://www.solargridx.org/demo

Competitors

SolarGridX is first to market in enabling solar panels to be an exchange-traded investment instrument for retail investors, making it an attractive & affordable investment. There are other players in the market, not in the region, but around the world that offer fractional ownership of solar panels/crowdfunding models but they have a lock-in of investment for a period of 25 years which is just not attractive to investors.
With our unique approach & secondary market, we are able to offer No Lock-in of investment, which means investors in SGX can simply sell the token to other buyers and enjoy near real-time withdrawal of their investment. We believe this will be a game-changer in attracting investors.
Some companies even provide zero-cost installation for consumers but they come with high EMIs, SolarGridX just not provides zero cost installation but offers electricity at cheaper price than regular supply, consumers even enjoy up to 40% reduction in their electricity bills.




Existing alternatives for Electricity Consumers: Stick to conventional Coal-powered electricity with high tariffs

Existing Alternatives for investors:
Real estate: High Entry ticket size
Stock Market: Lack of financial knowledge, volatile
Fixed deposits/ Savings account: Avg 2% ROI
Institutional Funds: Inaccessible for retail investors; High capital requirement

Advantages or differentiators

Solar Background:
Co-founder involved in family solar business in India; Advisory board includes solar industry veterans

First to Market: In enabling Solar panels to be a tradeable investment commodity

Partnerships: In progress with Solar EPCs in India with ready deals worth 5MW thereby reducing cost of solar consumer acquisition close to zero.

Highly vetted Solar sites: We have 10-parameters on which we evaluate a solar site before installation; Partnerships with credit agencies for background check of consumers

Team: Industry-level & geographical expertise for all team members

Timing: -Better understanding of tokenized investments
- Covid-19 enabling digital economy
- Regulatory framework available in UAE

Finance

• Consumer: - 10% of net revenue on electricity units consumed (recurring revenue for 20 years based on PPA)
-10% one-time commission from EPC providers

• Investor: 2.5% Transaction Fees

Cost Structure:

Engineering: P2P platform; web app; mobile app
Marketing: SEO, SEM, Content Creation, Short-form Video Production, Paid Referral Program, Public Relations, Content Distribution, Native Advertising
Design: UI, UX, Branding
Administrative: Salaries, Accounting, PR, Legal framework

Business model

Marketing Channels: “Digital first”-Social media, content distribution, SEO/SEM, web scraping and automation
Secondary channel: institutional research, portfolio managers, industry forums: Solar, Investment, Blockchain
Key Metrics:
• Number of investors
• Average investment size
• Cost per investor acquisition
• Volume of P2P trades
• Total capacity installed
• Solar Sites profitability
• Timeliness of consumers payments

Money will be spent on

Customer Acquisition 60%;
Product: 15%
Solar Assets: 10%
Operations: 15%

Offer for investor

$900,000 Valuation; We are raising conditional investment, condition been: we only receive the investment if we get regulatory approval to reduce the risk investor has to take.

Team or Management

Risks

1) Foreign currency
2) Regulatory Approval
3) Payment defaults
4) Natural disasters affecting solar assets

Incubation/Acceleration programs accomplishment

1) StartAD, Abu dhabi based Accelerator, graduated with 1st Prize
2) Conquest Accelerator, Bangalore, India, Top 10

Won the competition and other awards

Covered in traction

Photos

Photo 1 - Crowd-investing offering digital ownership of solar projects
Photo 2 - Crowd-investing offering digital ownership of solar projects
Photo 3 - Crowd-investing offering digital ownership of solar projects

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Idea
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Finance
Invested in previous rounds, $
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Incubation/Acceleration programs accomplishment
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