PEG Africa, a pay-as-you-go (PAYG) solar company based in West Africa, has moved into Mali, its fourth market since launch to enable customers to replace their perpetual spending on poor-quality polluting fuels such as kerosene and diesel with solar energy.
PEG Africa, which is currently serving over 450,000 daily users in Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire and Senegal, has raised US$30 million in funding over the last year, including a US$25 million Series C round announced in January, and has now made Mali its fourth market of operations.
PEG, which also recently expanded into solar water irrigation and bigger solar power systems, sees big opportunities for all three of its business lines in Mali, a country of more than 18 million people that has a rural electrification rate of just 20 per cent.
Chief executive officer (CEO) Hugh Whalan said he anticipates that PEG will now be able to open markets every 12-18 months, with plans to launch in a fifth African country set early 2021.
“PEG has shown significantly improved results in each new market. Our expansion playbook took Senegal to profitability within 12 months, and now we have the learnings from Senegal to add to our approach,” Whalan said. “What we have spent a lot of time on is building the capacity and the knowledge to open markets profitably, trying to ensure we don’t make the same mistakes twice and understanding what gives us a better chance of success. This has meant that each market, despite having its own challenges and issues, has gotten a little easier.”
The firm uses a PAYG financing model to allow as many users as possible to buy solar systems for lighting, TV and other entertainment systems and for small businesses in the region.
PEG has more than 400,000 daily users in Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire and Senegal, and has recently expanded into solar water irrigation and bigger solar power systems.
The company has raised almost US$30 million in funding over the last year, including a US$25 million Series C round announced in January anchored by a US$15 million multi-currency facility led by CDC Group, the UK’s development finance institution, and also backed by SunFunder and ResponsAbility. The same facility led by CDC Group has now provided $4M debt capital to PEG to finance its growth in Senegal.
PEG already has thousands of customers in Senegal, and the latest round of investment will be used to double down on the growth it has seen in the country. “Senegal has been growing far quicker than expected, and has reached profitably within its first year,” said PEG Africa chief executive officer (CEO) Hugh Whalan, “With the continued backing of CDC Group, we expect our growth in Senegal to continue. Importantly, we believe that we will be able to apply our learnings and expansion playbook to yield superior results as we grow into future markets.”