Egyptian startup, Pylon has raised a US$19 million seed funding round to accelerate its expansion into new markets.
The startup is an infrastructure management platform to transform electricity and water companies in emerging markets.
Consequently, the seed round comprised equity and debt led by the UK’s development finance institution, CDC, with participation from US-based Cathexis Ventures and Loftyinc Ventures, KSA’s Khwarizmi Ventures, and unnamed angel investors.
Meanwhile, in 2017 the startup was founded by Ahmed Ashour and Omar Radi. Pylon offers subscription-based Smart Metering for electricity and water companies in emerging markets, providing a tailored end-to-end software solution that can adapt to both old and new technologies.
The company aims to reduce operational inefficiencies, improve revenue collection, and achieve a more efficient environmental footprint with no cost upfront for its clients. Pylon can help utility companies increase their topline by up to 40% while also capturing losses and uncollected revenues. It looks to democratise smart grid infrastructure to these types of companies in emerging markets.
Beyond that, one of Pylon’s goals is to achieve a CO2 emissions reduction of 1 gigaton by 2035, a goal that continues to garner attention, not least from the famed Y-Combinator, which invested in the company as part of the accelerator’s summer 2021 cohort.
However, the proceeds will accelerate Pylon’s growth via expansion into other emerging markets in Southeast Asia, Africa and Latin America and advance engineering and product development. Pylon’s goal is to increase its smart metering points to three million by 2023, representing 4x year-on-year growth.
Reacting to the new development, Ahmed Ashour, co-founder and CEO of Pylon, said: “We are delighted that our solution received such heightened interest and acclaim from a wide range of global investors. Our impact-driven vision of developing technology to better manage resources, eradicate inefficiencies and remove pain points in the utility sector raised a call to action, and many responded.
“Our plug-and-play solution and flexible pricing models give utilities the full benefit of smart grids just by signing with us – increasing their aggregate revenue by up to 40 per cent.
“With a US$22 billion market opportunity, we provide a compelling model for investors who seek a fast-growing, profitable company, which, most importantly, has a significant impact on preserving our planet. Pylon’s ultimate goal is to benefit humanity, our clients, and our stakeholders,” he added.
Ashour said the startup planned to seek increased debt facilities to fast-track the accessibility of infrastructure solutions to utilities in friable economic landscapes.
In a reaction, Tarek Fahim, GP and founder of Endure Capital, said: “We are excited to support the strong team at Pylon, who are building a unique software-centric solution to support more sustainable and smart infrastructure for utility companies in emerging markets.
“As one of the highest-ever valuations for a seed-stage company in the Middle East and Africa, and we are delighted to be at the forefront of positive change in the region,” he added.