Angaza has closed a Series A round of financing for $4 million, which was led by a large unnamed-family office, with additional funding by a number of other organizations, including The Social Entrepreneurs’ Fund.
Angaza uses a pay-as-you-go model to help consumers access clean energy products such as solar lamps, clean cookstoves, microgrid meters, and solar water pumps. This model allows people with little financial means to make small payments and get clean technology that improves their lives. Otherwise, they probably wouldn’t have enough to buy such technology outright.
Clean technology such as a solar lamp or a small home solar power system is actually cheaper than paying for kerosene for lamps over a long time period. It has been estimated that the typical African family using kerosene spends up to 15% of its income on the smelly, pollution-generating fuel. Some of the health problems related to kerosene use have been documented, “Many studies report that accidental ingestion of kerosene is the primary case of child poisoning in the developing world. In South Africa alone, over 200,000 people are injured or lose property each year due to kerosene-related fires, in addition to 79,750 very young children unintentionally ingesting kerosene (in 3.6% of all households), of which 60% develop a chemically induced pneumonia.”
Angaza also has a distributor program to help retailers bring these products to markets where people live off-grid and typically are too far from a grid or can’t afford a grid connection. The distributor program has a Web interface that allows a retailer to manage sales and customer relations. (An app is available for distributors too.)
“Typically, our distribution partners see a four- or five-fold increase in sales when switching from cash sales to Pay-As-You-Go,” explained Angaza CEO Lesley Marincola. “We’re thrilled that these new funds will allow us to reach more manufacturers and distributors around the globe, which will ultimately enable the 1.2 billion people living off-grid to access clean energy devices.”
Angaza doesn’t only work with distributors though — it also works with manufacturers to bring more clean tech products to the right markets. In the last two years, Angaza has expanded into countries like Pakistan, India, Senegal, Tanzania, Zambia, South African, Uganda, and Malawi.
The for-profit social enterprise is based in San Francisco, California and Nairobi, Kenya.
Image Credit: Florence Devaourd, Wiki Commons