A Kenya-based energy startup, PayGo Energy has raised $1.43 million in a round of Series Seed funding to propel its offering into the next generation of smart meters. This is a strategic move taken to scale up operations across Nairobi.
PayGo provides clean cooking fuel to the masses on a pay-as-you-go plan and aims at democratizing LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas or Propane) to 2.0 billion people across the globe that lack clean cooking fuel. To achieve that, PayGo has come up with a smart meter for the gas cylinders and cooking stoves, which they deliver to households upon payment of a small upfront fee. The money is used in the installation of the necessary tools.
One a household has been supplied with the PayGo; they can benefit from cooking using LPG fuel which has little to no health risks, and pay-on-the-go basis through mobile money. The smart meters also benefits users in an additional way of monitoring the consumption and contacting PayGo when the LPG level inside the cylinder is getting low. The startup, will then deliver a replacement cylinder filled with LPG to the customers’ doorstep and just in time when the old cylinder is about to be exhausted.
The startup launched its services in Nairobi last year and has seen a steady growth in customer base. With the new fresh funding, PayGo is targeting to grow its reach even further across Nairobi. The bulk of the fund will be channeled towards developing its software platform and coming up with a next gen smart meter.
PayGo CEO, Nick Quintong, said, “A billion households are forced to cook with dirty fuels everyday, which is not 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.
The funds were raised from Energy Access Ventures, Global Innovation Fund, Novastar Ventures, and Global Partnerships/Eleos Social Venture Fund.
Jim Villanueva, the SVF Managing Director, 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.”