IFC Invests in Climate-Smart Batteries for Cell Phone Networks in Emerging Markets
Washington D.C. - IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is investing $7 million in the climate-smart battery maker Fluidic, Inc. to help improve the reliability of cell phone networks in developing countries worldwide.
Fluidic Energy’s rechargeable metal-air battery system provides low-cost backup power to cellular towers connected to unreliable electricity grids. This novel technology, which Fluidic has already deployed in countries such as Indonesia, helps reduce the costs of sustaining mobile networks in rural areas and offers a cleaner alternative to diesel generators and lead-acid batteries. IFC’s equity investment will provide capital to help Fluidic in its further expansion into Asia and Latin America.
“Power outages remain extremely common in many developing countries, and there is a huge need for a sustainable, affordable backup solution for telecoms and other sectors,” said Dr. Cody Friesen, Fluidic Energy’s President, Chief Technology Officer and Co-founder. “We have improved the stability of telecom services for large operators at a lower price and lighter footprint, and we look forward to doing the same in more markets.”
“IFC is committed to supporting climate-smart solutions for the developing world’s energy challenges. Fluidic’s battery systems are cost-effective as well as environmentally friendly, with tremendous potential for emerging markets,” said Stephanie Miller, IFC’s Director of Climate Business.
Addressing climate change is a strategic priority for the World Bank Group due to the risks it poses in developing nations, where basic resources such as food, water and land are already under strain from urbanization and population growth. IFC has invested $10.5 billion since 2005 to support energy efficiency, renewable energy and better water and waste management in emerging markets, including $2.5 billion last year alone.
Fluidic is the latest example of IFC’s investment interest in the energy storage market. IFC’s Venture Capital unit has previously invested in Microvast which manufactures batteries for electric and hybrid buses in China, and in Applied Solar Technologies to support clean power for telecommunications towers in South Asia.
About Fluidic Energy
Headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona, Fluidic Energy is a privately held provider of energy storage solutions with significant operations in Southeast Asia. Founded in 2007, the company supplies zinc-air batteries to support critical loads and backup power applications worldwide. The company’s products include remote site management, multi-year performance warranties and innovative financing terms.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. Working with private enterprises in more than 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity. In FY13, our investments climbed to an all-time high of nearly $25 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs and tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges. For more information, visit www.ifc.org
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