Kenyan solar startup Pawame raises $2m funding

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Kenyan off-grid solar startup Pawame has raised US$2 million in funding through Gulf-based investors to help it reach its goal of electrifying 150 million households in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Launched in 2016, Pawame is an off-grid home solar company. With its pay-as-you-go (PAYG) Solar Home System, customers can benefit from clean and affordable electricity, whilst also building a credit history that can unlock access to other products and services.

Its investors are primarily Gulf-based, with its largest shareholders being senior executives from the largest power utility companies of the Middle East.

“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,” said Alexandre Allegue, chairman and co-founder of Pawame.

“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.”

The startup’s chief executive officer (CEO) Maurice Parets said Pawame’s business model was 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. We are proud to be rapidly building a nationally trusted brand by providing best-in-class customer service and robust products to our customers,” he said.

Pawame is on target to break even by the end of 2018, and will soon launch a new funding round with strategic investors to accelerate its growth.

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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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