Pawame, a UAE based solar start-up, has secured $2 million in funding from Gulf-based investors for its operations in sub-Saharan Africa, where it aims to electrify 150 million households (70% of the population) that do not have access to grid power.
It offers the cost-effective, pay-as-you-go solar home systems to remote areas of Africa on a micro-finance basis.
The funding raised will also fuel its expansion in Kenya and other parts of Africa, according to chairman and co-founder Alexandre Allegue.
“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,” he said.
Pawame’s business model is to collect reliable data to build a trusted credit history, stated the firm’s CEO Maurice Parets.
“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,” he said.
Pawame is on target to break even by the end of 2018, in its second full year after its launch in 2016.
It will soon launch a new funding round to further accelerate its growth.
The company participates in global initiatives including USAID’s Power Africa, which sees it collaborate with startups to mobilize funding and accelerate off-grid access. It also joined forces with MasterCard this year to transform refugee settlements into digitally-connected communities.
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