Nigeria’s Saja launches solar-powered mobile carts

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Nigerian startup Saja is rolling out its solar-powered mobile charging carts in Lagos, allowing micro-entrepreneurs to develop their businesses.

Formed in May, Saja piloted its carts at the NYSC Orientation Camp in Lagos and at the RCCG Redemption camp, seeing impressive traction. It has now deployed 10 carts and charges over 200 phones daily.

Co-founder Seyi Fakoya said he was inspired to launch Saja after coming across a vendor who sells airtime by the roadside charging people’s phones using a generator.

“I have rarely used their service as I have various sources to charge my phones. It dawned on me that there are millions of people that don’t have what I have, and I thought if there was a way of providing this service in a cost-effective and environmentally friendly way, we could be onto something big,” he said.

Saja does just that, having designed a mobile push-cart that is powered by solar energy to provide the same service. They can also do more than simply charge phones, and are able to provide agent banking services, point of sale, merchandise and other services.

The startup has raised debt capital from the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund, and has also signed an Agent Network Agreement with AppZone Group to manage agents on their behalf.

“We are currently servicing Lagos, but aim to move fast as we scale our infrastructure to cover Nigeria. We plan to conquer Nigeria in the next two years before expanding to other countries,” said Fakoya.

Saja makes money via transaction fees, customer acquisition fees, direct service fees and advertising on its carts.

“We are currently earning from the direct service fees. We are in pre-revenue stage and as we build our tech and our network, we shall implement other forms of revenue methods,” Fakoya said.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent’s most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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