Paygo Energy, a Kenyan energy startup providing clean cooking fuel for the mass market on a pay-as-you-go basis, has raised US$1.43 million in a Series Seed funding round to build its next gen smart meters and expand across Nairobi.
The Nairobi-based startup seeks to democratize LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas or Propane) for the 2.9 billion people worldwide who lack access to clean cooking fuel.
As such, it developed a smart meter to work with gas cylinders and cook stoves which it delivers directly to households who register for its PayGo service and pay a small upfront fee. It helps with the installation too!
With this, households can cook using clean burning LPG, which has little or no health implications, and pay ‘kidogo kidogo’ (in small amounts) via mobile money.
The smart meter ensures households don’t run out of cooking gas as it monitors consumption and contacts PayGo whenever gas is low. The startup’s agent deliver a full cylinder directly to the door of those in need of it.
Since launching its first technology pilot in 2016, PayGo Energy’s customer base in Nairobi has steadily grown. The startup will use the fresh funds to grow its customer base across Nairobi.
Most importantly, it will channel the funds into the development of its software platform and next generation smart meter, as well as the growth of its team.
“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,” said Nick Quintong, Paygo’s CEO.
PayGo Energy raised the funds from Novastar Ventures, Energy Access Ventures, Village Capital, Global Innovation Fund, and Global Partnerships/Eleos Social Venture Fund.
SVF Managing Director, Jim 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.”