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East Africa

Solaris Offgrid

Solaris Offgrid

A pay-as-you-go software developer enabling off-grid energy providers to serve more, lower-income customers.

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  • Sector
    Energy

  • Region
    East Africa

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    First Year of Investment
    2020

The Challenge

With pay-as-you-go purchasing services, low-income customers can buy typically unaffordable products like solar home systems or water pumps on credit, repaying through incremental installments. Once the customers have fully paid for their devices, they use their solar energy free of charge.

Finding a suitable software system to offer pay-as-you-go purchasing, however, is not easy. There is no right-sized solution for companies, whose options are limited to costly, generic software that does not fully serve their needs or developing their own in-house customized software tools. Both of these imperfect options put a significant drain on small companies’ limited working capital and restrict their ability to grow.

The Innovation

Solaris Offgrid’s PaygOps software is one of the first to enable companies to easily offer customers their energy services with pay-as-you-go plans. The PaygOps software’s customer database is paired with automated management services such as billing, maintaining loan repayment information and customer satisfaction tracking. Energy companies pay Solaris Offgrid a fee for each active customer managed by PaygOps at half the price of competitors. This saves early-stage companies the high operational costs of setting up their own in-house systems and increases their efficiency—bringing them one step closer to profitability and enabling them to charge customers less for their services.

Impact

Solaris Offgrid’s software increases off-grid energy companies’ reach so that they can serve more low-income customers. It also widens the accessibility of these companies’ offerings so that they can serve even lower-income customers. To date, 29 companies have used the PaygOps software to manage over 8,000 customer accounts.

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