Solar startup Pawame secures US$2.45m in grant and equity funding for geographic expansion

KENYA – Pawame, a solar energy startup, has raised US$1.7 million in grant capital and an additional US$750,000 in equity funding to finance its geographic expansion.

Founded in 2016 by Alexandre Allegue, Majd Chaaya and Nick Sparks, Pawame allows customers to access solar home systems via a pay-as-you-go (PAYG) subscription model, and also helps them to obtain micro-loans via their mobile phones.

The startup offers a portfolio of innovative, high-quality solar home systems in remote areas of Kenya on a micro-financed basis, using mobile money repayment and the business model also uses energy as a bridge to help families build a credit history and gain access to other products.

The US$1.7 million of that comes in the form of grants, which come from the likes of the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, the Energy and Environment Partnership, SNV, AECF REACT Kenya, and the flagship World Bank-funded Kenya Off-Grid Solar Access Project (KOSAP).

Pawame has also raised an additional US$750,000 in equity funding, including US$250,000 from Launch Africa Fund and the company will use the funds to fuel its geographical expansion and accelerate the development of new products.

The startup has ambitions to become a pan-African company and to electrify over one million people in Sub-Saharan Africa by 2025.

In addition, Pawame has announced it is now launching its US$5 million Series A funding round to further boost its growth and expansion into Africa.

“The funds from our Series A equity round will allow us to accelerate our growth by delivering a broader array of life-changing products to more families in more of Kenya and, eventually, to other parts of Africa

Maurice Parets – CEO, Pawame

Energy is just the beginning, supplanting dirty kerosene lamps, our solar products help protect as well as change the lives of off-grid families. The funds from our Series A equity round will allow us to accelerate our growth by delivering a broader array of life-changing products to more families in more of Kenya and, eventually, to other parts of Africa,” said Maurice Parets, CEO of Pawame.

With a team of 80 employees and over 200 contract agents and technicians, Pawame plans to electrify over one million people in sub-Saharan Africa that do not have access to grid power by 2025.

The start-up is also planning to extend its product range to other life-enhancing products, including income-generating appliances such as water tanks, solar water pumps, and solar refrigerators as these will empower many families in rural areas to start their own business and enable farmers to extend the life of their crops.

Baljinder Sharma, Director at Launch Africa Ventures, commented, “Our thesis for investing into Pawame is simple: without electricity or connectivity, individuals are excluded from the exponential growth that an increasingly digital world has to offer. Although Pawame’s products essentially offer off-grid hardware with an affordable pay-as-you-go model, their value offering is far beyond simply electricity – which will be a defining factor for the company as they bring economic growth to a historically excluded set of people.”

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.