Nairobi-based PayGo Energy, a smart meter startup, has secured a strategic investment from Japanese energy firm Saisan in a move that will see it launch its proprietary Cylinder Smart Meter across Saisan’s Gas One retail network.
The deal will see the firm’s patented Cylinder Smart Meter (CSM)-an IoT device that accurately measures the flow of gas from an LPG cylinder in the customer’s home, enabling households to pay for gas in small amounts using mobile money, to be launched across Saitama’s Gas One Group markets.
According to Nick Quintong, CEO & Co-Founder PayGo Energy, “In Saisan we have a partner with generations of LPG experience and a trusted retail brand. We’re excited to work with Saisan to bring our technology to households across the region.”
Founded in Nairobi, Kenya in 2015, PayGo builds hardware and software solutions to help grow early-stage markets for LPG. For PayGo, the partnership provides a footprint in fast-growing emerging economies in South Asia, and a clear path to scale; leveraging Saisan’s extensive distribution and retail network, and the company’s deep expertise in downstream LPG.
PayGo Energy will provide Asian households with access to pay-as-you-go liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) for the first time. PayGo will leverage Saisan’s investment capital to establish a foothold in the region.
“We’re thrilled to be pioneering PayGo’s innovative smart metering technology in Asia, and to provide our customers with the world’s best gas service,” says Takehiko Kawamoto, President & CEO of Saisan.
Founded in 1945 and headquartered in Saitama, Japan, Saisan is the eighth largest LPG distributor in Japan, and holds downstream investments in 9 other Asian markets (Mongolia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Nepal, Thailand Laos and India) under its Gas One Group.
Saitama will use PayGo’s technology to enable it to expand its LPG business and to strengthen its reputation as a driver of digital innovation in the LPG sector.
For this expansion, PayGo Energy has secured funding from Energy Access Ventures which has been its investor since day one, adding value far beyond its capital to support us all the way from piloting our proof of concept to reaching this critical milestone.
“At EAV, we are extremely proud of the PayGo Energy team who have collectively delivered on strategic milestones in East Africa with great skill. We believe Saisan’s investment and partnership mark the next phase of PayGo’s growth, and we are excited to help the team make their truly game-changing technologies a reality for customers across emerging markets,” says Paras Patel, Partner at Energy Access Ventures.
PayGo has also secured investment from the Japan-backed VC fund, Kepple Africa Ventures. Kepple helps blue-chip African startups raise funds from and form strategic partnerships with large Japanese corporates.
The deal sees PayGo continue to build momentum as the company gears up for its Series B raise in the coming months.