BuffaloGrid, a London and New Delhi startup that recently picked up backing from LocalGlobe and Kima Ventures, offers something akin to mobile phone charging as a service in remote parts of the world that are either without electricity or where power supply is sporadic.
The company supplies an Internet-connected charging “Hub” — of which a second version launches today — and an accompanying cloud service that makes it easy for local shops and entrepreneurs to sell mobile charging and for BuffaloGrid to offer other services in the future.
The hub itself is installed for free and the startup shares revenue with its partner locations, who can generate new revenue streams as well as attracting additional footfall.
In a call, BuffaloGrid co-founder Daniel Becerra said that the company is targeting both off-grid and “grid-edge” communities in emerging markets (i.e.
where power is non-existent or outages are common) with a wider mission to help more people get online and therefore access digital services, such as for work, education, health and entertainment.
The basic and painstakingly obvious point here is that while smartphones put the internet in everybody’s pocket, without a way to keep our phones powered, connectivity and its utility is limited.