UAE solar startup Pawame secures $ 2.5 million in funding
UAE-based off-grid solar power startup Pawame has secured $ 2.5 million in grants and equity, with plans for a $ 5 million first round of funding as the it aims to provide electricity to more households in Africa.
The social impact firm (pronounced Power Me) has raised $ 1.7 million in grant commitments and $ 750,000 in equity, including $ 250,000 from the pan-African fund Launch Africa Ventures, she said on Sunday. in a press release.
The $ 5 million Series A round of funding will fund its expansion initially in Kenya and possibly other African countries as it equips homes in remote areas with affordable and clean solar power, said the chief executive of Pawame, Maurice Parets.
“Energy is just the start. Replacing dirty kerosene lamps, our solar products are helping protect and change the lives of off-grid families,” Mr. Parets said. “The funds from our Series A equity round will allow us to accelerate our growth by offering a broader range of life-changing products to more families. ”
International organizations such as the World Bank have urged governments around the world to build more sustainable and equitable economies after the Covid-19 pandemic exposed existing inequalities. Climate change activists have also stepped up pressure on policymakers, regulators, businesses and banks to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy.
Pawame aims to provide electricity to the homes of 580 million people in sub-Saharan Africa, more than half of the region’s population, who do not have access to electricity. The company distributes, finances and provides after-sales service for residential solar home systems using a lease-to-buy business model.
“Despite the challenges faced during the pandemic, Pawame achieved exceptional results in 2020, including achieving for the first time net profitability and positive cash flow,” said Alexandre Allegue, president and co-founder of Pawame, without provide numbers.
Pawame said it was “on track” for its expansion into Kenya and beyond, with the Series A fundraising intended to further accelerate its growth.
The five grants worth $ 1.7 million came from entities such as the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, the Energy and Environment Partnership, the Dutch development organization SNV, AECF REACT Kenya and the World Bank-funded Kenya Off-Grid Solar Access (KOSAP) flagship project, the company said. .
The grants will help accelerate Pawame’s product development pipeline – by funding pilot projects for new products such as solar water pumps and solar refrigerators – and by funding market activation initiatives in refugee camps. from Kakuma and Kalobeyei in Kenya.
Pawame’s current investors are primarily based in the Gulf and include senior executives from the region’s largest electric utilities as well as Launch Africa Ventures, he said.
“Our thesis for investing in Pawame is simple: without electricity and connectivity, people are excluded from the exponential growth that an increasingly digital world has to offer,” said Baljinder Sharma, director of Launch Africa Ventures.