Building Africa’s Climate Ventures with Circadian

March 4, 2024
Telecom tower

As the pressing challenges of climate change, energy instability, and the escalating costs of fossil fuels become evident daily, it is now increasingly crucial to explore sustainable and reliable energy solutions. While this is slowly being adopted, the global energy industry continues to struggle with decorbanization and digitalization.  The IEA’s World Energy Outlook 2021 report stated that digital technologies play crucial roles in integrating different aspects of the new energy system, therefore accelerating the urgent need for a shift towards decarbonized and digitized energy systems. It is within this challenging yet transformative context that Persistent’s decision to invest in Circadian becomes not just strategic but imperative.

Circadian stands at the forefront of this energy transition, especially in frontier markets characterized by rapid population growth and escalating commercial and industrial energy demands. These markets, often hindered by weak grid infrastructures, have traditionally relied on diesel-powered systems, which are neither sustainable nor cost-effective. Circadian’s innovative approach, combining a state-of-the-art Software as a Service (SaaS) platform with proprietary IoT hardware, addresses these challenges head-on, transforming how Energy Service Companies (ESCOs) operate by empowering them to win Commercial and Industrial (C&I) projects, reduce costs and maximize customer lifetime value which are usually a struggle due to inefficient energy assessments and unsuitable system designs.

Circadian not only addresses the broader ESCOs challenges but also zeroes in on the unique energy needs of telecom towers, or TowerCos. These towers are rapidly expanding in frontier markets and are often in locations with limited grid infrastructure that also stand to benefit significantly from Circadian’s innovative solutions.

Product Offerings and Services

Circadian has  pioneered both hardware and software solutions to provide a remote management system (RMS) that is vendor-agnostic and robust. Their real-time data analytics platform ensures optimized operations, performance and growth for our customers. Their proprietary solutions are:

Cortex EMS (Energy Management System): This suite consists of physical devices that are part of the Circadian IoT collection that manages the pre-installation energy assessment and post-installation asset management. Its primary role is in the direct monitoring and management of energy assets, functioning as a virtual assistant for energy systems. The system continuously monitors energy usage and the performance of energy systems, both before and after installation. This pre-installation monitoring is essential for understanding energy needs, while post-installation monitoring ensures the system’s efficiency. The focus of this suite is on the direct interaction with and management of physical energy systems and assets.


Pre-installation Energy Assessment and Post-installation Asset Management (Right to left)

Circadian Cloud: These applications are cloud-based software services designed to support the Cortex EMS hardware. They assist in a range of tasks, including equipment maintenance, energy usage analysis, and customer engagement through personalized interfaces. With this, ESCOs can track how much electricity is being used by different devices and systems at their client’s locations. This helps in optimizing energy consumption, identifying areas where energy can be saved, and providing tailored services to their clients based on their specific energy usage patterns as well as tracking battery health and diesel theft. This makes them an essential tool for enhancing the capabilities of the physical hardware in energy management and customer service.

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Circadian cloud platform

To summarize, the product supports ESCOs throughout the pre- and post- installation stages of decentralized energy projects as seen below:

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With these products, Circadian aims to resolve some of the major problems for ESCOs both in pre and post installation and drive their competitive advantage. Pre-installation breakpoints which are wasteful energy assessments, unsuitable designs, feeble customer proposals, and unachievable financing and for post-installation their solutions help manage high fossil fuel costs, reduce expensive on-site maintenance requirements and even identify new sale opportunities. They also clarify customers’ projected overall success and continuity.

Sector Expertise

Persistent is focused on building and supporting climate ventures by exceptional entrepreneurs who are working to tackle climate mitigation and accelerate climate technology across the African continent. Our approach to this is simple: we look for change makers and evaluate how they tackle the problem of climate change and with Circadian, we were convinced.

Circadian was founded in 2021 by Mike Rosenberg and Max Boit, two entrepreneurs with a vision for the African energy sector. Rosenberg, known for founding Aleutia, a hardware startup that deployed more than 400 solar solutions to clinics and schools across Africa. Boit brings experience in product management and  leadership with a blend of entrepreneurial flair and deep market insight. Their combined experience shows their commitment in the energy transition process in Africa through their innovative solutions that promise impactful changes. The team brings a blend of entrepreneurship, market insight, and technical expertise spanning over 20 years.

Circadian – Lagos Nigeria Team (1)

The Circadian Nigerian Team

Future Outlook

Circadian has already demonstrated remarkable progress, deploying their solutions in over 145 sites, primarily serving Telecom clients in Angola and C&I clients in Nigeria, to date showing notable traction and an attractive sales pipeline. As a partner, we are committed to providing essential venture-building support, tailored to Circadian’s needs.

Looking to the future, Circadian’s approach is crucial in shaping the growing demand for renewable energy. For Persistent, Circadian represents a key piece of our vision for the future of energy. Their focus on optimizing both the pre- and post-installation phases of energy projects resonates with the needs of the ESCO’s in the African market, marking them as a transformative force in driving both economic and environmental progress on the continent.