Pawame, a United Arabs Emirates (UAE) off-grid solar startup has funded Gulf-based investors $2 million to expand their operations in African states. Currently, Pawame has connected 20,000 people and intends to expand its services. Statistics reveal that approximately 150 million households in Sub-Saharan Africa have not been connected to power grid.
According to solar experts, Kenya has great potential of generating solar energy due to the high level of radiation experienced in Kenya annually.
Pawame (pronounced as power me) allows its customers to use an affordable means of paying for connection since they utilize pay-as-you-go solar microfinance system. Presently, Pawame has not disclosed its investors who took part in raising $2 million. However, they said that the shareholders of the startup were senior executives in other power utility companies that operate in the Middle East.
The chairman and co-founder of Pawame, Alexandre Allegue expressed his delight for the funding. He said the investors reacted fast and the funds will help them penetrate into Kenya and Sub-Saharan Africa. He also said that the startup’s model ensures that they get new customers and grow. Besides, the CEO of Pawame, Maurice Parets said that the solar home system that the company provides has given them a good reputation as they collect dependable data of their operations.
Pawame collects data on credit history through financing power access in rural areas on loan basis. Their services prove to be affordable to the customers on a long-term basis.
Pawame also uses the customers’ credit scores to access other products and services that a household may require. These include insurance, internet, TV, and loans.
Currently, Kenya has installed power facility with a capacity of 2,370 megawatts but solar accounts for less than 1%. Considering that the sunlight intensity affects solar production, Kenya proves to be a potential ground for solar energy production.