A Kenyan-based energy startup, Paygo Energy, that provides clean cooking fuel to customers on a pay-as-you-go basis -just as it’s name implies- participated in a series seed funding round. The startup was able to raise a sum of US$1.43 million in order to construct its next generation smart meters and enlarge across the country’s capital, Nairobi.
The funds raised by Paygo was from Global Innovation Fund, Global Partnerships/Eleos Social Venture Fund, Novastar Ventures, Energy Access Ventures and Village Capital.
Paygo intends to provide clean cooking fuel -LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) or propane- to the estimate of 2.9 billion people across the world that don’t have access to cooking fuel. Clean cooking fuels have little or nil health issues as compared to other fuels.
The startup’s aim of democratizing the clean cooking fuel has led it to develop smart meters. The smart meters will work along with gas cylinders and stoves which will be directly delivered to homes that apply for the Paygo service; and also assist the installation process. There will be a little upfront charge that will guarantee the usage of smart meter.
The smart meters act like triggers because once the gas gets to a low state, Paygo is alerted about it, and a fully filled gas cylinder is delivered straight to the doorsteps of the same house.
Paygo Energy launched its first technology pilot in 2016, and ever since then, it has experienced a big boom, with a lot of customers patronizing its services. The funds raised will aid the enlargement of the startup’s customer base in Nairobi.
Although, the majority of the funds will be pumped into the development of the platform and next gen smart meters. The funds will also be channeled to the growth of the startup’s team.
“A billion households are forced to cook with dirty fuels everyday, which is not and profitable, generating immense social and environmental impact.”only a serious development challenge, but also a significant market opportunity. This financing will allow us to invest deeply in our technology, build a service that our customers love and prepare for commercial roll-out,” said Nick Quintong, Paygo’s CEO.
Social Venture Fund (SVF) Managing Director Jim Villanueva stated that SVF is happy in being a part of the development of Paygo Energy, adding that Paygo will have a strong impact in the nation.
Villanueva said, “We are delighted to be supporting Paygo Energy as the company prepares for rapid growth. Paygo’s innovative approach to providing affordable clean energy promises to be both scalable and profitable, generating immense social and environmental impact.”
The homes where Paygo services are supplied can pay up with ease, that is, they can pay up in little amounts through mobile money.