United Arab Emirates (UAE) based solar power startup Pawame has raised $2m (Kshs 200 Million) from Gulf investors for its operations in Kenya and other African countries.
Pawame (pronounced “power me”) will use the funds to expand its footprint in Kenya, where it has already reached 20,000 people. Pawame’s mission is to provide affordable solar home systems in remote areas of the continent on a micro-finance basis.
“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,” said CEO Maurice Parets.
Pawame charges an upfront fee of $30 (Kshs 3,000) to activate the solar kit, followed by rent-to-own installments on a daily, weekly or basis for as little as 45 cents.
“This price is cheaper than their current alternative which is kerosene lighting and mobile charging. The total cost is about $250 for the customer, with a three-year warranty and a permanent customer service support,” said Chairman, Co-founder Mr. Allegue,
The company did not disclose the investors but said that its largest shareholders were senior executives at the largest power utility companies in the Middle East including Acwa Power CEO Paddy Padmanathan, former GE Middle East president Akram Alrabayah, RWE Middle East CEO Paul Van Son and Wouters Ltd CEO Frank Wouters.
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.
Pawame aims to reach more than 150 million households in sub-Saharan Africa who have no access to power.
The firm launched in 2015 reports that it is on target to break even by the end of this year, its second full year of operation.
Pawame will soon launch a new funding round with strategic investors to accelerate its growth.