Pawame, Kenya and UAE based off-grid solar start-up has raised a seed funding of $2 million from Gulf-based investors to expand its footprint in Kenya and other parts of Africa.
The round was led by CT Arabia, an investment firm created by regional energy executives to invest in Pawame, along with angels serving as senior executives from power utility companies from MENA. These include Paddy Padmanathan, chief executive of Acwa Power, Wouters Ltd CEO Frank Wouters amongst others.
Launched in 2015, the company provides affordable solar kits to off-grid households in sub-Saharan Africa on a micro-finance basis. It uses customer’s credit scores to provide them with other products and services such as loans, insurance and access to internet.
Pawame was lately selected as a finalist at Harvard Business School’s New Venture Contest as well as the SXSW Accelerator Pitch Event. For its work at Kakuma refugee camp, it emerged semi- finalist at the MIT Enterprise Forum.
According to CEO Maurice Parets, “Pawame’s business model is to grow sustainably, acquiring customers with its solar home system and collecting reliable data to build a trusted credit history. We have connected 4,000 homes to solar power in Kenya and have impacted more than 20,000 lives. Using our pay-as-you-go financing, we provide not only solar powered lights but also radio and TV.”
With its aim to electrify 150 million households in sub-Saharan Africa and also to break even by the end of this year, the company said that it will soon launch another funding round to further accelerate growth.