Egyptian startup Pylon, an infrastructure management platform aimed at transforming electricity and water companies in emerging markets, has raised a US$19 million seed funding round to accelerate its expansion, including into new markets.
Founded in 2017, Pylon is a smart infrastructure management platform providing a subscription-based “Smart Metering as a Service” (SMaaS) for electricity and water companies in emerging markets.
The startup provides a tailored end-to-end software solution that is adaptive to old and new metering technologies and helps reduce operational inefficiencies, improve revenue collection, and achieve a more efficient environmental footprint, at zero upfront cost. Pylon democratises smart grid infrastructure to energy and water distribution companies, enabling them to capture up to US$400 billion of losses and uncollected revenue.
Pylon – which is profitable and grew by 3.5x in 2021 – is already working with multiple companies across two continents who have deployed more than one million end points of Pylon’s smart grid technology across 15 distribution companies. It is now planning further expansion after raising a US$19 million seed round.
The round began with initial funding from US-based startup accelerator Y Combinator, and has since attracted a diverse group of investors from North America, the Middle East and Africa. It comprises both equity and debt, and was led by Endure Capital, which is backed up by CDC, the UK government’s development finance Institution. Also participating are Cathexis Ventures, Khawarizmi Ventures, LoftyInc Capital Management, and various high profile angel investors.
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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, which would represent 4x year-on-year growth.
“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 utilities sector raised a call-to-action and many responded,” said Ahmed Ashour, co-founder and CEO of Pylon.
“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.”
Ashour said the startup planned to seek increased debt facilities to fast-track the accessibility of infrastructure solutions to utilities in friable economic landscapes.
“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 utilities 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,” said Tarek Fahim, GP and founder of Endure Capital.