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Pioneering Affordable Energy

The Company

Azuri Technologies is a commercial provider of PayGo solar systems to rural off-grid communities. With the widest reach of any provider in sub Saharan Africa, the company is addressing the problem of energy access which affects the 1.3 billion people around the world who lack access to the grid.

Azuri has used mobile technology to turn a development challenge into a business challenge through its Azuri solar home systems, which allow users to pay for solar power on a pay-as-you-go basis, just like they do for their phones and kerosene. This provides clean, safe renewable power to families at about half the cost of the kerosene it replaces, without the need for any government subsidies or tariffs. Azuri’s HQ is in Cambridge, United Kingdom, with staff based in Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, Ethiopia and Tanzania and presence in 11 countries across sub Saharan Africa.

 

 

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The Market

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Azuri is disrupting the problems of energy access, helping to eliminate kerosene use and enabling technology deployment in emerging markets. Azuri is addressing this opportunity at scale:

  • In sub-Saharan Africa, mobile phone penetration is almost ubiquitous
  • 600 million mobile phone subscribers worldwide lack access to electricity and spend $15-35 a year on phone charging = ~$15Bn spend charging phones
  • 600 million people lack access to electricity which represents ~$17Bn/year on kerosene for lighting.
  • This represents a huge commercial opportunity ~$30Bn/year

Solar power is an obvious alternative to kerosene, candles or disposable batteries which, light-for-light, cost over 100x the price of the equivalent energy in the West and can represent as much as 30% of the net income of poor households.

Our Impact

The objectives of Azuri’s PayGo solar are to eliminate kerosene use for lighting and deliver clean and affordable power to enable rural Africans to realize opportunities and their aspirations.

It is a commercially sustainable and profitable offering, which combines a sustainable technology with a business model that is compatible with the African rural economy.

Once a week, Azuri exchanges a text message with its customers when they add credit to their unit. This can yield rich data on usage to deduce cost savings, which are of the order of 50%. Azuri delivers value in the following ways:

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"The most important is that my children can finally study at night"

Teacher in Uganda