Madison-based clean electricity startup NovoMoto is launching new products, fundraising and hiring more staff after being featured this year on the fourth season of WISN-TV Channel 12’s “Project Pitch It.”
While on the show, company founders Aaron Olson and Mehrdad Arjmand pitched their portable solar-powered electrical kit solution, which provides lighting and phone charging to people in remote parts of the world.
The show’s panel of Milwaukee-area moguls awarded Olson and Arjmand with $10,000. The entrepreneurs have since traveled to the Democratic Republic of Congo where they recently deployed the company’s new solar-powered TV kits.
“That’s a big piece of what we’ve been working on,” Olson said. “This new package that we’ve been offering in the first half of 2020 is our first major launch of the TV solution.”
NovoMoto had a batch of 250 TV systems, most of which have already been purchased and installed in homes in Congo, Olson said. These new systems power five hours of TV daily and include additional security features.
Since launching in 2017, NovoMoto has served 895 people. The company said it has provided customer savings of $16,000 and has added 270,000 hours of productivity to people’s lives with its sustainable lighting.
The company has raised $700,000 to date, including a recent raise of $350,000 in a $1 million seed round of funding. NovoMoto plans to hire more independent agents, customer service representatives and technicians to help expand and support its customer base.
“The purpose of this funding is to get us to a few thousand customers in early 2021,” Olson said. “How quickly we can act on that depends on how quickly our partners, primarily in China, can help with manufacturing, shipping and customs clearance.”
The lack of electricity access in sub-Saharan Africa presents an opportunity for NovoMoto in places like Congo, Olson said.
NovoMoto eventually wants to expand beyond Congo to serve other markets with the goal of completing 1 million installations by 2026.
“There are other countries that unfortunately have a similar lack of access to electricity,” Olson said. “We’re looking at other markets, but we’re not ready to make that jump until we have a little more traction in Congo.”
Leadership: Aaron Olson and Mehrdad Arjmand
Address: 824 E. Washington Ave., Madison
Website: NovoMoto.netWhat it does: Brings clean electricity to remote parts of the world