The story of Wakawaka began in 2010, with founders Maurits Groen and Camille Van Gestel. They discovered that there was a real need for sustainable off-grid lighting when they were in South Africa for a contest to illuminate the 2010 World Cup events using LED lighting. After winning, they decided that something had to be done about the lack of safe and affordable lighting among families living at the "base of the pyramid". Two years later, Wakawaka light went into production. Inspired by an idea of Frans Biegstraaten & Rik Wuts of the high-tech solar energy company Intivation, the founders decided that light needed to be compact, low cost and possess different ways of positioning. Together and with the support of carbon finance experts Do-Inc, they set out to pave the way for an ambitious project: enlighten all those who still lived in darkness.
This sturdy, highly efficient, durable and solar powered LED lamp is affordable for those who live with 2 dollars a day. In January 2012, we used participatory financing to finance production during a very successful campaign. Six months later, the most efficient solar LED lamp in the world hit the market with a big BOOM.
The small lamp on mission has achieved great success around the world and has attracted the attention of companies and NGOs. It has rapidly reached individuals in all African countries. Online assessments could not have been more positive and independent research showed that the Wakawaka Light was twice as efficient as any other solar lamp on the market.
In 2013 Wakawaka launched a new model - Wakawaka Power - that combines the original lamp with the ability to charge phones and other portable devices, while providing hours of light. Participatory financing of the world's most compact solar charger was reached for the second time by backers at crowdfunding sites around the world. This "Buy One, Give One" campaign raised over $ 700,000 and provided 12,000 LED lamps to Haitian families without electricity.
Before Wakawaka Power was launched in the spring of 2013, we launched a similar donation campaign for Syrian refugees struck by the conflict. With needs expanding exponentially as the crisis worsened, a new wave of WakaWaka was sent to Syria in partnership with the International Rescue Committee and Stichting Vluchteling.