2023 Year in Review: A Year of Impact, Growth and Recognition
As we bid farewell to another remarkable year, we take immense pride in reflecting on the milestones and achievements that are helping to further shape Solaris Offgrid's journey towards a brighter, more equitable future. Join us in celebrating a year of innovation, growth, and unwavering commitment to bringing life-changing technology to the Next Billion. ⬇️
1. We are now helping to impact almost 5 million people with life-changing technologies
Working closely with over 100 clients and more than 40 manufacturing brands in 39 countries to provide underserved communities with essential products and services (clean energy, clean cookstoves, agri inputs, water pumps, etc), we are very proud to announce that we’ve increased our impact, moving forward from 3 million people reached in 2022 to 4.6 million (as of November 2023). Our company keeps striving to make an all-around impact in line with the sustainable development goals, saving more than 100k tons of CO2e emissions and supporting 2.6k jobs in emerging markets.
2. Our impact-driven initiatives and efforts to advance SDGs were recognised by some of the most distinguished programmes and organisations around the world
Our commitment to help advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) from our different business lines was acknowledged by several programmes and institutions around the world. Thus, the Unreasonable Group alongside Barclays, invited us to join the Unreasonable Impact programme, as one of the ventures that are uniquely positioned to create the jobs of tomorrow, while solving pressing societal and environmental challenges. Later on, we took part in Unreasonable GOALS, a collaboration between the Unreasonable Group and the U.S. Department of State that supports the world's most compelling market-based, growth-stage companies at the forefront of innovating for a more sustainable future, each uniquely positioned to solve one of the SDGs.
Similarly, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) acknowledged the value of Bridgin as a financial aggregation solution with great potential to streamline larger, healthier volumes of capital to last-mile distributors, and is now supporting us to further develop the technology as a multi-country platform (extended information in point #4).
Based on our impact, mission and innovation, Solaris Offgrid was named the 5th best purposeful organisation “to escape to” and the one with the highest-scoring mission this year by The Escape 100, a campaign that ranks the 100 most innovative and forward-thinking companies globally.
3. PaygOps continued to strengthen its position as a first-class CRM and added comprehensive features to further help distributors across different verticals optimise critical processes and scale.
We kicked off the year in style and introduced PaygOps new User Interface (UI), to further strengthen the platform's reliability and implement future improvements and features faster. The revamp not only brought along a smoother look, but represents a next-level rebuild of the software interface that is centred around optimising its performance and, ultimately, offering a better experience for the user. Adding to our efforts on accessibility, PaygOps is now a multilingual platform that allows users to use the software (for both mobile + desktop interfaces) in English, French or Portuguese, with more languages underway.
Constantly looking for ways to address our clients’ unique challenges at the last mile, we kept building on PaygOps flexibility, further adding features tailored to critical processes of LMDs across essential sectors. For instance, we launched Surface Mapping, a feature that provides critical insights into crop growth and performance to get a deeper look into the surface of end clients’ to leverage credit scoring and revenue evaluation processes of agritech distributors. Similarly, we incorporated the Bulk Upload feature into our platform, which now allows companies to import large sets of data all at once, reducing the need for manual data input, thus enhancing operational efficiency for LMDs’ processes across the value chain.
4. Our Receivables Finance Platform, Bridgin, was officially unveiled and is now on track to become a multi-country, multi-distributor financial aggregation solution.
At the heart of our fintech initiatives to bridge the financial gap in Sub-Saharan Africa, our receivables finance platform, Bridgin, was officially unveiled and shown in action to last-mile distributors, investors and other stakeholders during a compelling webinar held last March. Created by the team behind PaygOps and successfully tested in Kenya, the groundbreaking solution allows investors to buy pools of receivables from LMDs, while the latter get instant liquidity to scale. Bridgin is interoperable with virtually any last-mile management platform on the market, and keeps striving to become a multi-country, multi-distributor financial aggregation solution.
In that sense, due to its great potential to increase access to low-cost financing for small-scale, low-carbon energy assets in developed countries, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) recognised Bridgin as one of seven winners of the Climate Aggregation Platform (CAP) Financial Innovation Challenge, an accolade that is now helping us to pilot the platform in Uganda to build upon its legal and back-up servicing framework, in parallel with mobile money operators, to automate payment flow segregation and further develop the technology.
5. SolarisLab remained at the forefront of innovation and kept leveraging open-source technology to help manufacturers reach new heights.
Our Product Development Services team announced that they now go by SolarisLab, in an effort to reinforce their visibility and autonomy as a force that pushes the limits of efficiency and sustainability to support companies in delivering life-changing technologies to the Next Billion with Product Design & Engineering Services.
Throughout the year, SolarisLab strived to walk several manufacturers through the redesign of sustainable products focused on unlocking access to clean energy, clean cooking, water pumps, among others, following their comprehensive 5-step process. In this regard, it is worth noting the team’s ongoing work with a renowned eCook manufacturer, helping them enhance the electronics and mechanics of induction stoves, to make these technologies more sustainable, with focus on cost optimisation, UI, environment protection, Paygo integration, and overall efficiency.
Moreover, “the Lab” is also supporting a leading manufacturer of solar lamps to enable their lantern recharging stations with IoT capabilities, so they can leverage PaygOps as well as connect to other cloud services, and retrieve valuable data about performance and impact that they can share with donors to keep financing end users and providing African communities with improved technology.
As creators of the OpenPAYGO Suite -our ever-evolving stack of open-source tools supporting manufacturers to accelerate Paygo enablement-, our engineers announced a new tool underway, OpenPAYGO Pass, which they're developing alongside long-time collaborator EnAccess, to allow clients in areas with no Mobile Money and/or very poor connectivity to get a seamless Paygo service through an RFID badge mechanism that will simplify the activation process and provide free data feedback in places where cash collection is required. The team is currently developing the OpenPAYGO Pass mobile app, which supports the RFID plugin that will read the data off the badge, optimise it through OpenPAYGO Metrics and seamlessly send it to a server using HTTPS (for more info, visit their new website).
Thank you, everyone, for the support throughout 2023.
Happy holidays... and get ready for our exciting 2024 announcements! 👏🏾🎉
About Solaris Offgrid
Solaris Offgrid supports distributors and manufacturers across all industries in over 35 countries through SolarisLab Product Design Services and flexible IT solutions. Solaris Offgrid’s flagship PaygOps platform is an interoperable B2B SaaS which connects energy and utility appliances (solar devices, water-pumps, cookstoves, smart metres, e-bikes) and payment methods (Pay-as-you-go and Mobile Money) within a suite of enterprise applications or API services, to allow distributors to smoothly manage their operations and tackle their challenges at the last mile, thus enabling them to provide affordable essential products and services to millions of people at the Bottom-of-the-Pyramid.