PEG Africa enters Mali, accelerates expansion

West Africa-based pay-as-you-go (PAYG) solar company PEG Africa has moved into Mali, leveraging its successful expansion playbook on the back of a profitable first year in Senegal.

PEG Africa is a leader in deploying and financing solar to households and SMEs in West Africa. Via its PAYG financing model, it enables customers to replace their perpetual spending on poor-quality polluting fuels such as kerosene and diesel with solar energy. 

The company, which is currently serving over 450,000 daily users in Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire and Senegal, has raised US$30 million in funding over the last year, including a US$25 million Series C round announced in January, and has now made Mali its fourth market of operations.

PEG, which also recently expanded into solar water irrigation and bigger solar power systems, sees big opportunities for all three of its business lines in Mali, a country of more than 18 million people that has a rural electrification rate of just 20 per cent.

Chief executive officer (CEO) Hugh Whalan said he anticipates that PEG will now be able to open markets every 12-18 months, with plans to launch in a fifth African country set early 2021.

“PEG has shown significantly improved results in each new market.  Our expansion playbook took Senegal to profitability within 12 months, and now we have the learnings from Senegal to add to our approach,” Whalan said.  “What we have spent a lot of time on is building the capacity and the knowledge to open markets profitably, trying to ensure we don’t make the same mistakes twice and understanding what gives us a better chance of success. This has meant that each market, despite having its own challenges and issues, has gotten a little easier.”

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