Gridless is a Bitcoin mining company that focuses on rural areas in East Africa and has recently raised $2 million in a seed round led by Stillmark and Block, Inc. Factor[e] also recently led an angel round for Gridless.

The funds will be used for supporting the expansion of Bitcoin mining operations in Africa.

CEO of Gridless Erik Hersman explained that “Africa needs affordable electricity. Our work in supporting renewable energy mini grid developers fills a gap, helping developers expand faster, be more sustainable, and serve thousands of households. This investment, and the high caliber of partners that are coming alongside us, means that we can accelerate our rollout knowing that we have both the capital and strategic support required.”

Together with HydroBox, an African hydroelectric energy startup, Gridless has joined five distinct project contract pilots in rural Kenya in its first year of operation. Currently, three of these pilots are operational. Gridless provides funding for and oversees the maintenance of the data centers in these rural areas. The company is currently focused on expanding into other regions of East Africa.

Managing partner at Stillmark Alyse Killeen stated that “Stillmark is focused on investing in companies that are helping to advance the Bitcoin ecosystem in ways that offer sustainable value and solutions to many. Gridless does this by bringing a socially and environmentally conscious approach to Bitcoin mining, one that provides tangible benefits by way of access to electricity for communities in rural parts of East Africa.”

According to Gridless, more than 50% of Africans in 2020 did not have access to electricity. The company states that Bitcoin mining plays a pivotal role for Africa’s access to affordable and dependable electricity.

Gridless states that their objective is to produce electricity from their mining sites and to prioritize community electrification while uplifting businesses like containerized cold storage for nearby farmers, battery charging stations for electric motorcycles, and public WiFi points. The remaining electricity capacity, after community needs have been met, is used for Bitcoin mining.

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