Abu Dhabi-based off-grid solar power provider Pawame has raised $2 million from Gulf investors to provide sub-Saharan African households with solar power solutions.
This seed funding will be utilized by Pawame to increase its footprint in Kenya. The social enterprise’s funding round was led by CT Arabia, a regional investment firm, with other contributions from Middle East and North Africa (MENA) utility companies.
“Pawame’s business model is to grow sustainably, acquiring customers with its solar home system and collecting reliable data to build a trusted credit history. The company leverages customer’s credit scores as a gateway to providing families access to further life-enhancing products and services such as loans, insurance and access to TV/internet,” the CEO Maurice Parets said in a media statement.
“We are delighted with this strong response from our investors. The funding raised will allow us to further accelerate our current growth momentum by expanding the Pawame’s footprint in Kenya and other parts of Africa. Universal energy remains a long-term aspiration rather than a short-term reality as electricity is still out of reach for over 700 million people in Africa. The potential for Pawame to impact lives is significant, and we have already touched the lives of more than 20,000 people in Kenya by giving them access not only to lighting, but to other life enhancing services,” said Alexandre Allegue, the chairman and co-founder of Pawame.
Pawame, which was established in the year 2015, aims to electrify 150 million households in sub-Saharan Africa by the end of this year.
People who choose to utilize the services provided by Pawame pay a fee of $30 to activate the solar kit, followed by rent-to-own installments on a daily or weekly basis. The Pay-As-You-Go (PayG) is a rapidly growing style of financing which brings solar products within the reach of more and more consumers. It requires access to substantial levels of commercial debt capital.
Off-grid solar solutions have benefitted approximately 360 million people across the globe, according to a report by the World Bank Group’s Lighting Global Program, Dalberg Advisors, and the Global Off-Grid Lighting Association (GOGLA).
In January 2018, Mercom reported that Azuri Technologies, another PayG off-grid solar products provider in the sub-Saharan African region, had launched a $20 million off-balance-sheet debt financing program.
Image credit: Pawame