Cameroonian PAYG solar startup upOwa raises $2.7m funding

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Cameroon-based pay-as-you-go (PAYG) solar home systems startup upOwa has raised a Series A2 funding round worth EUR2.5 million (US$2.77 million) to support its growth and expansion.

upOwa provides solar home systems on a PAYG basis, offering low-income, off-grid families an affordable opportunity to access clean energy for lighting, charging phones and powering small household appliances. 

Having seen strong early growth, it has now raised finding to further support its growth and expansion, providing more solar solutions for people with no access to electricity in Cameroon. The EUR2.5 million (US$2.77 million) round was led by the UK government-backed Renewable Energy Performance Platform (REPP), together with French family office Colam Impact

Additional crowd-funded equity is being raised through LITA.co, a Paris-based impact investor. Pre-existing investors including Persistent, INCO and Gaia Impact, also participated in the Series A2 round following the conversion of pre-existing convertible loans into shares.

Using the funding, upOwa plans to rapidly increase its market footprint in Cameroon. In addition to providing clean, reliable and affordable electrification solutions to low-income off-grid households, the company has now started offering higher range products with the potential to generate positive impacts beyond basic appliances.

“upOwa’s growth is very exciting, but with it comes the critical need for committed partners, including investors, willing to rise to the challenge along with our dedicated teams. We are thrilled to now have REPP, Colam Impact and LITA.co join forces with us, as this will also unlock access to the debt funding upOwa needs to pursue its scaling-up plans in Central Africa and eradicate energy poverty in a sustainable manner there,” said upOwa chief executive officer (CEO) Kilien de Renty.

Geoff Sinclair, REPP manager and managing director of Camco Clean Energy, said REPP’s equity investment facilitated further equity investments by Colam Impact and LITA, and unlocked meaningful quantities of debt funding which will enable the company to increase its sales. 

“The upOwa team is now well positioned to build on the foundations it has created,” he 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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