Press Release – August 18th, 2017 — ATEC Biodigesters (ATEC), an Australian-Cambodian Social Enterprise has raised US$700,000 in a Series-A equity round to expand its operations in Cambodia as well as to explore other international opportunities in the household waste-to-energy market. The investment was made by a consortium of investors, led by Small Giants (Australia) and consisting of Fondation Ensemble (France), ENGIE Rassembleurs d’Energies (France) and one other private Australian investor. The investment round has then been matched with a further €250,000 in results-based-financing by EEP Mekong, a Government of Finland initiative.
“Clean energy solutions that utilise natural systems principles to unlock the inherent energy in our waste streams have the potential to transform the way we power homes across the world”, says Dan Fitzgerald, Chief Investment Officer for Small Giants, an Australian family office devoted to investing 100% of their resources for impact. “The world needs innovative, replicable technologies in the clean energy sector, and we believe ATEC is at the leading edge both in Cambodia and internationally.”
ATEC’s unique household biodigester technology was founded and developed through a partnership of two Australian non-profits working in Cambodia, Engineers Without Borders Australia and Live and Learn Environmental Education, for specific application in seasonally-flooded countries such as Cambodia, Myanmar and Indonesia. By installing a biodigester system, families in rural Cambodia utilize gas as a source of reliable and free energy, replacing traditional wood-burning cook stoves with a cleaner, healthier, and eco-friendly alternative. The system also produces a high-quality organic fertilizer that increases crop yield and can also be used as a substitute for chemical fertilizer. Combining these benefits, an average rural Cambodian family can save $260 per year, a short video on ATEC’s technology can be seen here.
“Three years ago we pitched our concept to our seed funders Google & SNV, who were willing to take a risk with us to see if we could make this technology viable,” says Ben Jeffreys, CEO of ATEC, “to now have the technology validated with over 250 units in the ground and this fantastic investor group on-board, it’s an amazing step forward in bringing this high-impact technology to those who needs it most”.
ATEC raised investment with support from Impact Investment Exchange (IIX) through the award-winning ACTS (Acceleration for Capacity-building and Technical Services) program sponsored by USAID. The program supports Impact Enterprises from across the region with technical assistance and an impact assessment, along with support throughout the capital raise process.
“ATEC Biodigesters is an innovative company with the potential to create immense impact through the dissemination of its technology. IIX was honored to support ATEC through the IIX ACTS program and we are incredibly excited to see investors come together from Australia and France,” said Robert Kraybill, Managing Director at IIX.
About IIX: IIX is a Singapore-based impact enterprise that bridges the gap between finance and development, carving out a third space for social and environmental solutions by unlocking investment capital. As a pioneer of impact investing, IIX builds pathways to connect the Wall Streets of the world with the backstreets of underserved communities. IIX platforms and innovative financial products enable impact enterprises to accelerate their business and scale their positive impact, while pushing the impact investing space from the margins to the mainstream. IIX operates Impact Partners, a private platform that connects Impact Investors with a select group of pre-screened Impact Enterprises seeking investment capital. To date, the work of IIX has spanned 20 countries and continues to expand with the mission of unlocking US$1billion of impact investment capital, impacting 100 million lives by 2025.
About ATEC: ATEC* Biodigesters is a new social enterprise that produces, sells and distributes a custom-manufactured 3.25m3 biodigester design manufactured in Phnom Penh. The ATEC Biodigester is a rotor-moulded unit designed for the challenging environments of rural farmers. To date over 300 units have been sold within Cambodia within Cambodia, providing renewable gas for cooking, 20 tons of organic fertilizer per year, and saving the average rural family US$5,850 over the product lifetime.
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