Pangaea provides growth capital to leading Australian social enterprise
SYDNEY, September 7, 2016 – Pangaea Impact Investments announced today that it has made an investment in Pollinate Energy, one of Australia’s leading social enterprises delivering life-changing products to slums in India.
Pollinate Energy operates in four Indian cities, selling products, such as solar lanterns and water filters, to people who live in makeshift slums. Their highest selling product, the solar light, is environmentally friendly, reduces the harmful effects of kerosene and is significantly cheaper in the long term. People are able to pay off their solar lights over several weeks, having purchased them from a locally employed workforce called ‘Pollinators’.
Pollinate Energy was founded by six young Australians and has now been operating since 2012. Over this time it has sold more than 17,000 products and has impacted the lives of more than 70,000 people. It has been profiled recently by SBS, The Australian, The Huffington Post and has been recognised by the United Nations. It is growing strongly and is now close to achieving profitability in some of the cities.
Alexie Seller, Co-Founder and Chief Operations Officer for Pollinate said: “This investment is critical in assisting Pollinate to scale our in-country resources that will further drive the long-term sustainability of the company. Pangaea was an obvious choice for us. It is clear that we share a common mission in trying to build successful social enterprises and seed the next generation of social entrepreneurs.”
Pangaea Impact Investments is a boutique investment company that focuses solely on direct impact investments in social enterprises. Beyond capital, Pangaea also provides experience and expertise in strategic planning, business model design and operational execution. Pangaea was founded by Anthony and Karen Bohm in 2015. Prior to this, Anthony and Karen were founding investors in Think: Education Group and Open Colleges Australia.
Karen Bohm, Founding Partner of Pangaea said: “Pangaea is excited to be partnering with the Pollinate team. Pollinate’s social impact is remarkable and multi-faceted – from the environmental benefits of clean energy, the health benefits to the urban poor and the economic empowerment of the local Pollinators. In addition, Pollinate is also a catalyst for the development of other social enterprises in Australia. Through their International Fellowships (for University students and Professionals) Pollinate provides a unique opportunity for Australians and internationals to gain first-hand insight and experience into the operations of a growing and successful social enterprise.”
About Pangaea Impact Investments: www.pangaeaimpact.com
Pangaea believes that to tackle many of the significant challenges facing society and achieve real social transformation, we need to harness the power of markets, entrepreneurship and private capital. Pangaea focuses on social enterprises that seek to find innovative solutions to: increasing language, literacy and numeracy; improving accessibility to education and training; accelerating employment, particularly in disadvantaged groups; and reducing poor health and disease.
Founded in 2012, Pollinate Energy is an award-winning social enterprise that brings life-changing products to people who need them the most.
This year more than 100,000 people will die in Indian slums as a direct result of toxic kerosene poisoning. Further, reliance on kerosene for lighting has a serious detrimental impact on children’s health and education and also represents a significant cost for poor families. Founded by six young Australians, Pollinate Energy solves this problem by selling solar lights. Pollinate’s innovative business model enables people living in slums to use their kerosene money to pay off their solar light over several weeks.
Solar lights do more than just save lives, they provide people with the ability to work longer hours and earn more income, children to study in the evening and families to save money that would otherwise be spent on non-renewable, toxic kerosene.
Pollinate employs and trains locals called ‘Pollinators’ to work within the urban slums as door-to-door sales agents, and supports these micro-social businesses.
Pollinate also offers Australian students and professionals the opportunity to gain insights into its operations through its’ International Fellowship and Professional Fellowship Programs. These programs comprise structured learning modules together with in-country project work. As a result, Pollinate is strengthened by the energy and ideas of Australia’s next generation whilst the participants gain a deeper understanding of social enterprises and effecting global change.