Approximately 2 billion people worldwide live without a reliable electricity source to meet their daily energy needs and are forced to turn to unhealthy and environmentally harmful alternatives such as kerosene lanterns and generators. While some sub-Saharan African countries are attempting to implement costly and slow-moving on-grid infrastructure, off-grid options such as solar standalone systems are made affordable through Pay As You Go (PAYG) software, generate power from day one, and are easy to install.
While we’re trying to cover this issue with The Beam since the creation of our publication, we’ve encountered the company Mobisol, closely followed its development, and interviewed Thomas Gottschalk, its CEO. A leading player in decentralized solar electrification, the Berlin-based company offers a clean and affordable alternative to fossil fuels for lower-income households and small businesses in rural sub-Saharan Africa since 2011. Combining solar energy hardware with mobile payment technology, Mobisol provides a credible alternative to a grid connection and enables rural families and business owners to power a range of appliances to improve their standard of living and earn incremental income by establishing solar-powered businesses.
This week, Mobisol has announced that it has acquired Lumeter, one of the largest providers of pay-as-you-go (PAYG) software for the off-grid solar industry. This acquisition aims to create strong synergies between Lumeter and Mobisol’s software for PAYG services. The combined company creates an unrivaled player with strong pricing power, expertise in the metering sector for standalone solar systems and mini-grid solutions. It has also the ability to deliver PAYG functionalities for large productive use systems to underserved areas of the world. Following this acquisition, the Mobisol platform now supports more than 500,000 people globally with access to clean, reliable and affordable power.
“While pay-as-you-go software pioneers like Lumeter and Angaza Design have very successfully paved the way to meet consumer needs, we will now be able to take this approach to a new level, offering opportunities to manufacturers and distributors on a larger scale” said Stefan Zelazny, Chief Innovation Officer at Mobisol. “We are able to provide a hardware agnostic software suite that makes major consumer and commercial implementations possible. We see the Lumeter acquisition as a key step in our plan to expand the pay-as-you-go market for Mobisol, its off-grid partners and other technologies beyond solar.”
According to Mobisol estimates, its software saves up to 80% in daily operations. Through a comprehensive feature set, like automated invoicing, remote monitoring to reinforce payments, complete control of the supply chain from production facilities to sales outlets, and automated credit checks, overhead is reduced and digitalization of operations possible.
Mitra Ardron, founder of Lumeter adds: “I am glad to see Lumeter’s technology developed further with Mobisol. By bringing together the customers, hardware, and backend solutions of the two leading companies in PAYG will bring advantages to all of our partners.”
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