Fenix International has been awarded a Mobile Enabled Community Services (MECS) Market Validation grant by the GSMA to launch ReadyPay, an ultra-affordable “pay-to-own” solar energy solution, in Uganda.
The award programme, designed to help improve access to basic energy and water services in underserved communities, will enable Fenix to roll out ReadyPay nationwide offering clean, affordable solar energy to over 30 million Ugandans who live without power on a daily basis.
The ReadyPay Power System will be available through MTN—Africa’s largest telecom—on a pay-to-own basis through MTN Mobile Money. With ReadyPay, customers can make affordable and flexible payments for electricity on a daily, weekly or monthly basis to charge phones and power lights, radios and TVs.
Starting from 40,000 UGX ($16), a customer can a take a ReadyPay kit home with 7 days of free power included. Additional days can be purchased via MTN Mobile Money for as low as 1,000 UGX ($0.39 per day). These Mobile Money payments are credited towards the customer owning the solar kit over time, while powering their homes or businesses.
Mike Lin, CEO of Fenix International, said: “We are honoured to receive this MECS award. Following a successful ReadyPay pilot, this MECS grant provides vital funding for Fenix to validate and scale ReadyPay across Uganda.”
Fenix International first began developing energy products with MTN in Uganda in 2009. ReadyPay builds on the success of Fenix’s first product, the ReadySet, a plug-and-play solar charging system that Fenix designed to empower entrepreneurs to charge phones and lights at kiosks in communities without electricity.
ReadyPay is a multifunctional solar power system that includes a solar panel, smart battery featuring two USB ports & two car lighter adapter ports, and a range of lights and phone charging accessories. Larger kits include a radio or TV.
This project is receiving funding from the GSMA Mobile for Development Foundation, Inc. (GSMA Foundation), which, in turn, received its funding by UK aid from the UK Government. The views expressed are not necessarily those of GSMA Foundation or the UK Government.
About Fenix International
Founded in 2009, Fenix International is a venture-backed renewable energy company with offices in East Africa and Silicon Valley. With core expertise in power electronics, product design and base-of-the-pyramid marketing, Fenix’s mission is to deliver quality of life to the 1.3 billion people who live without power in emerging markets. www.fenixintl.com
About MTN Uganda
Launched in 1998, MTN Uganda is the leading communications operator in Uganda, offering Mobile and Fixed telecommunications, Mobile Money Services and Internet Service Provisioning. As of 30 September 2013, MTN Uganda recorded 8.4 million subscribers across Uganda. Visit us at www.mtn.co.ug and for our football fans www.mtnfootball.com. Customers can also follow us on www.youtube.com/mtnug and www.twitter.com/mtnugandacare for assistance.
About the MECS Innovation Fund
Mobile Enabled Community Services, MECS for short, encompasses any energy and water service provided to a community which includes a mobile component, whether it is voice, SMS, USSD, Machine2Machine, NFC, a mobile operator’s agent network or tower infrastructure. The MECS Programme aims to seize the opportunity, leveraging mobile technology and infrastructure to enhance access to affordable and reliable energy and clean water in underserved communities.
Established with the support of the UK Government the MECS Innovation Fund will provide up to £2.4M in grants. The specific objectives of the Innovation fund are to:
- Accelerate efforts using mobile technology to enable improved or increased access to water or energy services for underserved communities
- Identify innovative business models that can support mobile innovations for energy and water services
- Generate knowledge about the application of mobile enabled services which can be shared with the development community and mobile industry
- Stimulate productive partnerships between mobile operators/tower companies and energy provides, water providers, NGOs, entrepreneurs and academics to achieve these objectives at scale
For more information, please contact Fenix International:
Marketing Director, East Africa
m:+256 (0)785 085 115
Business Development Director
m: +1 415 742 1649
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