The World Bank estimates that 600m people in sub-Saharan Africa still do not have access to electricity — and Azuri is trying to change that. Founded in 2012, it provides pay-as-you-go solar power to households that would otherwise rely on hazardous kerosene lamps. Starting out in Kenya, the company has now sold more than 150,000 solar panel systems to customers in 12 countries, including Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Nigeria through a network of local agents, 50% of whom are women. Customers pay in weekly instalments and, once paid for, all future energy is free. Led by chief executive Simon Bransfield-Garth, 59, sales reached £8.8m in 2018 and are on track to more than double this year. In June, the company raised $26m from Japanese conglomerate Marubeni, as well as existing investor IP Group.
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