First paying customers enjoy clean electricity in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Startup NovoMoto achieved an important milestone this summer by selling their first units to paying customers, providing clean electricity to schools, clinics, and churches in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In June of 2017, NovoMoto RDC SARL kicked off its pilot phase of operations by installing a solar powered lighting system for a clinic and school in the village of Mboka Paul in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

NovoMoto’s social impact and marketing strategy includes the free installation of lighting systems for key institutions in each of the villages where the company operates.  These systems currently include a 35W solar panel, a battery and control electronics box, and four efficient LED lamps.

In July of 2017, NovoMoto performed installations for its first 8 paying customers.  These customers paid $18.50 for their installations and will pay $4.50/week for the next 5 years.  These customers all received H100 packages.  These packages include a 35W solar panel, a battery and control electronics box, a 15.6″ TV, a radio, and three efficient LED lamps.  These packages provide ~100 Wh of electricity per day.  This is enough to power an outdoor night light 12 hours, two indoor lights for 6 hours, two phone charges, and 4 hours of television each day.  After a customer pays, they receive a code via text message that will allow them to activate their system for a week.  Customers currently pay with cash, but will soon pay with mobile money.

After evaluating the success of the first paying customers (timely payments, technology performance, customer comments & complaints) for 4 weeks, the company will import additional equipment for additional customers.  NovoMoto is aiming to serve a total of 300 customers in 6 villages by the end of 2017.

The company has three managers and 4 technicians in DRC who manage marketing, customer relations, and installations/maintenance.  The NovoMoto team in the U.S. is comprised of the company’s two founders and two interns who are helping with financing and product development.

By Emily Achler | August 14, 2017