Gridless is a bitcoin mining company that enables rural communities in East Africa to benefit from new energy production. Recently, Gridless received $2 million in funding in a seed round led by Stillmark and Block Inc. It also guaranteed a pre-seed round to be led by Factor[e], which also took part in this round. Thus, the company will enable the further expansion of bitcoin mines in Africa.
Statements of Erik Hersman
Gridless CEO Erik Hersman said in a statement that Africa needs cheap electricity. In this direction, the company’s effort fills a huge gap by helping renewable mini-energy grid developers to grow more quickly and sustainably and thus serve thousands of people.
What is Gridless?
Gridless develops, builds and manages bitcoin mining facilities in underutilized rural areas of Africa, collaborating with small-scale renewable energy providers. In rural areas without access to industrial or commercial customers, Gridless acts as the main tenant, financing the data centres and overseeing their management.
In its first year, Gridless has signed an agreement with HydroBox, an African hydroelectric power company, for five pilot projects in rural Kenya, three of which are currently in operation. The company plans to expand soon by entering other parts of East Africa as well.
Gridless and Africa’s Electricity Problem
In 2020, more than 50% of Africans did not have access to electricity. Despite the great need for reliable, affordable and clean energy, mini-grid power producers are struggling to be sustainable. According to Gridless, by using bitcoin mining as a last resort, local communities in the region can be more electrified and more sustainable energy can be produced. Community electrification and community-enhancing businesses, such as containerized cold storages for nearby farmers, battery charging stations for electric motorcycles, and public WiFi hotspots, are prioritized when using electricity produced by established facilities.
The Bitcoin computational mining data center is powered by the remaining electrical capacity after these requests are met. Depending on the nature and availability of electricity, data centers may use more modern, more efficient bitcoin mining equipment or less modern, less efficient equipment to adapt to the needs of the community. This changes completely according to the needs of the community.
Gridless works to meet the demands of African energy providers with the aim of connecting the continent with electricity and providing more affordable power to those living in rural areas. Founded in 2022 by seasoned professionals in the connectivity, infrastructure and software industries in East Africa, the Gridless team uses bitcoin mining as a tool to further geographically deploy and protect the bitcoin network, as well as accelerate the growth of the industry.