UAE startup Pawame secures $2.5m, launches $5m Series A round for expansion in Africa
Pawame offers a portfolio of solar home systems in remote areas of Kenya on a micro-financed basis
UAE-based off-grid solar startup Pawame, has secured $1.7m in grant commitments, plus $750k in equity including $250k from Launch Africa.
The company has also announced that it is launching a $5m series A funding round to further boost its growth and expansion into Africa. Pawame offers a portfolio of solar home systems in remote areas of Kenya on a micro-financed basis, using mobile money repayment, making it affordable to access clean and reliable energy, a statement said.
Pawame aims for geographic expansion within and beyond Kenya, with the series A fundraising set to further accelerate its growth trajectory. Its current investors are primarily GCC based, with its largest shareholder being senior executives from the largest power utility companies of the Middle East as well as Launch Africa VC.
With a team of 80 employees and over 200 contract agents and technicians, Pawame aims to electrify over one million people in sub-Saharan Africa that do not have access to grid power by 2025.
The startup is also planning to extend its product range to other products, including appliances such as water tanks, solar water pumps and solar refrigerators, to empower families in rural areas to start their own business, and enable farmers to extend the life of their crops.
Grants and funding were received from across the world. The SDG7 Results Grant was received from the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, and it will help accelerate and de-risk Pawame’s geographic expansion within Kenya. The Energy and Environment Partnership (EEP) grant will help accelerate the company’s product development pipeline, funding pilots for new products like solar water pumps and solar refrigerators.
The Market Based Energy Access II grant (MBEA-II), from Dutch development organization SNV, will fund market activation initiatives in Kakuma and Kalobeyei refugee camps. Additional grants were secured from AECF REACT Kenya and the World Bank-funded Kenya Off-Grid Solar Access Project (KOSAP), as well as $750k in equity including $250k from Launch Africa.
Maurice Parets, CEO of Pawame, said: “Energy is just the beginning, supplanting dirty kerosene lamps, our solar products help protect as well as change the lives of off-grid families. The funds from our Series A equity round will allow us to accelerate our growth by delivering a broader array of life-changing products to more families in more of Kenya and, eventually, to other parts of Africa.”
“Our thesis for investing into Pawame is simple: without electricity or connectivity, individuals are excluded from the exponential growth that an increasingly digital world has to offer,” said Baljinder Sharma, director at Launch Africa Ventures. “Although Pawame’s products essentially offer off-grid hardware with an affordable pay-as-you-go model, their value offering is far beyond simply electricity – which will be a defining factor for the company as they bring economic growth to a historically excluded set of people.”