Over 100 million African households lack access to modern electricity services, typically spending considerable sums on stopgap lighting via kerosene, candles, and dry-cell batteries, and relying on costly and inconvenient charging services to power mobile phones.
VentureBuilder aims to tackle this access gap, helping indigenous distributors grow into high-impact solar companies. Across the continent, local distributors often have years of experience serving thousands of local customers with a variety of products. However, they lack the human and financial resources to pivot into the pay-as-you-go (PAYG) solar business model. VentureBuilder’s combination of patient capital and technical support will scale a new generation of local solar companies that deliver modern, affordable, and reliable electricity to millions of Africans.
Even though the PAYG solar industry is flourishing, it currently serves less than two percent of the total addressable market in Africa, with only a small number of companies operating at scale. Incumbent players have sometimes struggled when expanding out of their core markets, highlighting the complex and unique character of each market, particularly when it comes to human capital, distribution strategies, and extending credit.
The local market knowledge and customer bases held by established distributors, if combined with the right mix of PAYG expertise, talent development, capital investment, and product partnerships, are the keys to scale the delivery of PAYG off-grid solar products in underserved markets in Africa.
Through its provision of enterprise development services (EDS) and early-stage capital to locally-owned and managed distributors, VentureBuilder will leverage existing capabilities and build new skillsets that are critical to sustainably scaling the PAYG solar model.