Kenya’s IGAS has launched a digital LPG marketplace that seeks to accelerate access to affordable clean cooking to millions of households .
The startup which was founded in 2021 ,was recently launched to the public as an LPG vendors platform where vendors can create their shop, add and manage inventory, get real-time analytics indicating how the business is performing as well the sales .The app also allows customers access their nearest verified LPG shops, seamless payment options, refill fund options, and a convenient purchase experience.
iGas founder and CEO Michael Rapudo in an interview with Disrupt Africa said, We are aggregating the customer purchasing data to design a credit scoring model we will use to extend small personal and MSME loans, and customised insurance solutions.”
According to Rapudo, growing up in rural Kenya, where the main source of cooking energy is firewood and charcoal, opened his eyes to the gradual environmental damage that has been done over the years.
“I returned home in 2020 to find forest covers gone, farm lands destroyed by big gulleys from flash floods, and increased rates of drought,” he said. “As a climate change conscious activist I felt something had to be done to transition dependence on fossil fuels to LPG as a source of clean cooking.”
According to a WHO report, 4.2 million people die from exposure to outdoor air pollution, in addition to the 3.8 million whose deaths are linked to household smoke produced by dirty stoves and fuels.These solid fuels produce carbon, one of the biggest contributors to climate change after carbon dioxide. Also, the woods for cooking in form of firewood or charcoal contribute to deforestation which in turn have a negative impact on climate change. Using firewood and solid fuel is harmful on the user and the environment.
Currently, the Startup has onboarded over 100 vendors and performed over 1,000 transactions and is now seeking to onboard more vendors, and to expand beyond Kenya,
According to Rapudo, the startup charges a commission per transaction. He added that the revenues numbers are good considering how recently the app was launched.
iGAS is also seeking to raise seed funding to aid product development and aggressive marketing as it builds initial traction.
“Running a startup has a lot of moving parts, but having an open mind, being always ready to learn, and being resilient has grounded me to keep pushing. Having a clear vision that the whole team works towards has made us overcome a lot of challenges along the way.”