Press Release: Fenix International, the largest provider of off-grid home solar in Uganda, announces that it has signed over 60,000 leases for its product, ReadyPay Power, since January 2014. The leases, totaling $11 million in value, have brought an estimated 300,000 Ugandans power for the first time and each lessee their first line of credit.
Ugandans, living on an average of less than $2/day, make only a small deposit to take home their approximately $200 solar system. Customers then pay off the remaining cost in affordable installments via Mobile Money over 18-24 months until they own the system outright. Fenix’s innovative hardware and software enable the company to lock the solar system if customers fail to make payments. The company receives and processes over 120,000 payments per month, and a total of $5.7 million has been paid back through 1.4 million payments.
“Our success to date demonstrates the incredible demand for ReadyPay and the robustness of our financing platform,” said Lyndsay Handler, CEO of Fenix International. “First, we are bringing clean, affordable power to replace expensive and dangerous kerosene lanterns. Second, customers build a credit history that allows us to provide additional financing for solar system upgrades and other life-changing products and services.”
Fenix partners with MTN, Africa’s largest telecom, to sell and distribute their ReadyPay Power systems, and with foreign investors to finance their leases. The company is expanding rapidly and investing in growing its customer base, product portfolio and market reach in 2016.
Fenix International is a venture-backed technology company with a mission to transform quality of life through disruptive innovation in energy and financial services. Fenix’s flagship product, ReadyPay Power, is an expandable, lease-to-own home solar system financed through affordable installments over Mobile Money. Fenix is the largest provider of off-grid home solar systems in Uganda and recently won the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) prize for Taking Development Innovation to Scale.
What % of Ugandans have access to power?
Only 15% of Ugandans have access to electricity.
How much power for a ReadyPay solar system provide?
ReadyPay systems range in size from 10 to 34 watts and power LED lights, phone charging, radios, TVs, and additional appliances.
How do customers pay for ReadyPay solar systems?
Customers make a small deposit on the system, and then pay in micro-installments via Mobile Money over a period of 18 months. Once a customer has finished paying for the system, the device unlocks and the customer owns their power source.
How do customers upgrade?
If customers are on time with payment, they can upgrade to larger batteries that power further appliances as their power needs increase.
What are customers using for power before solar?
Off-grid Ugandans rely on kerosene, candles, and battery-powered flashlights for lighting. Kerosene is the leading cause of accidental poisoning in emerging markets, and burning lamps create the risk of burns as well as significant indoor air pollution. Fenix customers have bright LED lights, the ability to charge their phones at home (rather than walking to a trading center), and power for appliances. This enables a safer, better educated, and more connected community.