EcoEnergy, a leading affordable solar energy provider in Pakistan, has secured a US$600,000 investment to help it provide off-grid solar energy to 10,000 of the poorest rural households in Pakistan.
EcoEnergy struck the innovative debt finance deal with SIMA, a social investment advisor and manager backed by the Dutch and Belgian government development banks, AXA, MetLife, USAID and the pension fund of the Episcopalian and Lutheran churches. EcoEnergy will use the capital specifically to purchase products, technology and services from BBOXX, a next generation utility company.
The finance will help EcoEnergy scale up its operations and extend distribution of smart solar home systems across the country. Until now, the company has been constrained by a lack of access to working capital to buy the hardware needed to satisfy the demand of off-grid communities in Pakistan. This investment will substantially increase its stock of solar home systems and provide access to BBOXX’s task management software, Pulse.
Pulse is a cloud-based platform, which enables distributed businesses to improve efficiency and enhance customer service. Pulse overcomes many of the big obstacles that distributed energy companies, such as EcoEnergy, experience in Asia and Africa. These include managing customers, products and employees that are spread out across remote locations.
Asad Mahmood, CEO and Managing Partner, SIMA Funds, said: “Our view is that where there is pre-judgement or prejudice about risks of operating in a market, there is in fact likely to be opportunity in that market.
“Pakistan has great promise for the off-grid solar energy sector, which remains mostly untapped. Indeed, the potential size of the Pakistani market is bigger than that of Kenya and Tanzania combined.”
Shazia Khan, Chief Executive Officer of EcoEnergy, added, “Across Pakistan there are some 70 million people without access to grid electricity. This is holding back social and economic development.
“We have worked hard to gain a deep understanding of off-grid rural Pakistani communities in order to determine the best way to meet their energy needs. SIMA’s visionary work with us in securing this investment will provide us with the tools and services we need to expand the number of customers we can reach in Pakistan.
“We aim to reach 10,000 more households before the end of 2018.”
Mansoor Hamayun, Chief Executive Officer of BBOXX, commented, “Using Pulse and BBOXX hardware dramatically increases the ability of companies like EcoEnergy Finance to reach a stage of bankability.
“Lack of access to reliable energy is a pressing global issue. That is why we are keen to build partnerships with organisations like SIMA to conduct similar transactions for other markets.”