Mergers and strategic partnerships

Top three benefits:

  • Piggyback on reputable brands, networks, capital and expertise of large companies (for strategic partnerships).
  • Reduce dependency on traditional, and often challenging, approaches such as fundraising to realise scale (for both).
  • Combine resources to establish a new and competitive value proposition for customers (for mergers). 

Top three challenges:

  • Aligning ways of working and organisational cultures might be challenging when working with large players. 
  • Reaching mutual and lasting beneficial alignment can be jeopardised by unforeseen changes in business strategies and priorities of the individual parties. 
  • If not supported by an impartial facilitator, negotiations can become lengthy and troublesome.

Photo credit: Solar Sister


  • Pollinate and Empower Generation merged into the Pollinate Group (GDC member) in 2018. They talk about their experiences of this 16-month process in episode 107 of the FLIP podcast in partnership with the GDC. 
  • Other last mile distributors that merged are GDC members Livelyhoods and Solar Sister (2022), and companies like Solaraid and Ellesolaire (also both GDC members) have entered strategic partnerships (read more here).  
  • Since 2016, Aqua for All has helped distributors of household water filters to partner with water utilities in Ethiopia.
  • Let us know who else should be on this list


  1. GSMA reflects on the optimal role for MNOs to support PAYGo solar companies.
  2. Research on strategic investments and mergers in off-grid energy access by WoodMackenzie in partnership with Energy4Impact.