Kenyan clean energy startup iGas has launched a digital LPG marketplace that aims to accelerate access to clean cooking by solving affordability, accessibility and last mile delivery constraints.
Formed in 2021, but only available to the public late last year, iGas enables gas vendors – commercial or domestic – to create online shops from which customers can purchase gas through the iGas app.
Vendors get shop visibility, digital business management, sales analytics and periodic reports, while customers can access their nearest verified LPG shops, seamless payment options, refill fund options, and a convenient purchase experience.
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“We are aggregating the customer purchasing data to design a credit scoring model we will use to extend small personal and MSME loans, and customised insurance solutions,” iGas founder and CEO Michael Rapudo told Disrupt Africa.
Rapudo said having grown up in rural Kenya, where the main source of cooking energy is firewood and charcoal, had opened his eyes to the gradual environmental damage that has been done over the years.
“I returned home in 2020 to find forest covers gone, farm lands destroyed by big gulleys from flash floods, and increased rates of drought,” he said. “As a climate change conscious activist I felt something had to be done to transition dependence on fossil fuels to LPG as a source of clean cooking.”
iGas is such an attempt, with the bootstrapped startup having already onboarded over 100 vendors and performed over 1,000 transactions. Working hard to onboard even more vendors, and with plans to expand beyond Kenya, the startup is currently seeking seed funding for further product development and aggressive marketing as it builds initial traction.
“We charge a commission per transaction. The revenues numbers are good considering how recently we launched,” said Rapudo.
“Running a startup has a lot of moving parts, but having an open mind, being always ready to learn, and being resilient has grounded me to keep pushing. Having a clear vision that the whole team works towards has made us overcome a lot of challenges along the way.”