January 30, 2023

Founded in Nairobi, Kenya in 2015, PayGo builds hardware and software solutions to help grow early-stage markets for LPG. 

It all began in the informal settlement of Mukuru kwa Reuben in the industrial area of Nairobi, Kenya. They noticed that charcoal and kerosene were available for sale on every street corner, but LPG was difficult to find.

From some back-of-the-napkin math, they realized that these households were paying more to purchase small amounts of charcoal and kerosene fuels that are inefficient heat sources, unpleasant to cook with, and deadly to inhale than an equivalent amount of LPG.

PayGo Energy expands access to clean cooking for millions of households in the developing world by bringing proven technologies to the LPG industry.

On top of that, PayGo Energy allows households to cook on clean burning Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) and uses pay-as-you-go technology to allow customers to purchase the system over time via mobile money.

Since launching its first technology, Paygo Energy has developed a steady customer base in Nairobi, while the company currently has an international team committed to launching its hardware and software technology across the region.

The startup’s mission is to unlock clean energy for the next billion, by revolutionizing the distribution of cooking gas

Urban households living at the base of the pyramid spend a relatively large amount of income on fuels like charcoal and kerosene, which expose households to health and safety risks.

These households are currently priced out of the cleaner LPG market, but PayGo Energy provides an improved service system and an innovative smart metering technology that eliminates upfront costs and enables customers to access clean burning LPG on a pay-as-you-go basis.

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PayGo currently operates in Kenya with a team of over 20 and their pilot operations in Nairobi cover 300 homes and have logged over 4,000 payments on their platform.

How it Works

Cylinder Smart Meter (CSM)

Cylinder Smart Meter (CSM) is 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.

The CSM automatically shuts off when a customer’s credit reaches zero. They match the way gas is sold to the way consumers in developing markets typically earn and spend their incomes by breaking down the cost of an LPG cylinder into smaller payments.

Tag & Trace

Tag & Trace is a software platform that digitizes LPG distribution and retail data. The platform is fully customizable, with a range of features including cylinder tracking, inventory management, customer relationship management, and payments. 

Additionally, there is a significant scope to eliminate waste in the LPG supply chain through digital applications, and ultimately, those savings will be passed on to the consumer.

Founders

Nick Quintong

Nick Quintong

Nick Quintong is the CEO & Co-Founder at PayGo Energy. 

Additionally, Nick Quintong has had a past job as the Kiva Fellow at Kiva.

Nick Quintong studied at the University of Southern California.

Fausto Marcigot

Fausto Marcigot

Fausto Marcigot is the CTO & Co-Founder at PayGo Energy and CEO at Global Service Design (GSD).

Fausto is also a technology professional with global experience and a demonstrated history of turning ideas into award-winning products and services. 

Additionally, he is interested in projects that are resource efficient and form part of a regenerative circular economy.

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Mike Hahn

Mike Hahn paygo

Mike Hahn is the Co-Founder & Head of Product at PayGo Energy.

Additionally, Mike Hahn has had a past job as the Product Design Manager at Sanergy.

Mike Hahn studied at the Rhode Island School of Design.

Investors & Funding Rounds

Kepple Africa Ventures,  Novastar Ventures, Energy Access Ventures, Village Capital, Global Innovation Fund, Global Partnerships/Eleos Social Venture Fund, and Saisan.

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 them from piloting its proof of concept to reaching its current critical milestone.

PayGo has also secured investment from the Japan-backed VC fund, Kepple Africa Ventures which helps blue-chip African startups raise funds and form strategic partnerships with large Japanese corporations.

The deal sees PayGo continue to build momentum as the company gears up for its Series B funding.

On top of that, PayGo Energy has raised a US$1.43m debt and equity financing round to fund its expansion.

The investment will finance the expansion of PayGo Energy’s customer base in Nairobi, the development of its software platform and next-generation smart meter, and the growth of its team.

Additionally, the 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.

PayGo Energy will provide Asian households with access to pay-as-you-go liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) for the first time. PayGo will also leverage Saisan’s investment capital to establish a foothold in the region. 

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Saisan will also use PayGo’s technology to enable it to expand its LPG business and strengthen its reputation as a driver of digital innovation in the LPG sector. 

Main Competitors

AC Energy: This is the energy platform of Ayala, one of the largest business groups.

Bolder Industries: It offers advanced manufacturer or sustainable alternatives to carbon black and performance petrochemicals.

ReCarbon: This is an innovative technology platform that recycles carbon emissions into revenue-generating byproducts.

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