Powerfull: The fintech startup transforming Africa’s electricity market


When Ifeanyi Ukwuoma’s mother switched from diesel generators to renewable solar energy for her frozen food business in Nigeria, it was the most logical and financially sensible decision. Her energy cost was increasing, accounting for about 40% of operating expenses. She realised she needed to take action and looking back at the fuel subsidy removal that was announced at the start of the new federal administration in Nigeria, she had the right decision in mind.

Nigeria produces 12,522 megawatts(MW) of electricity which is barely enough to cover its over 200 million people and more than half of its population has no energy access. Nigeria’s energy is largely produced from and dependent on gas. This energy source has so far proved inefficient to cover the population and renewable solar energy represents an opportunity for more efficient, reliable, and clean energy.

Owning solar assets can cost a pretty penny, especially in a country with ₦‎30,000/month (≃$20) minimum wage), hence when Mrs Ukwuoma approached credit lenders to finance this part of her business, they all declined. According to data from Powerfull, 92% of businesses in Nigeria have no access to credit financing for renewable energy. According to data from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), 73% of people who live in Nigeria cite the initial cost of buying and installing a rooftop solar PVl is the number one reason hampering the adoption of rooftop solar PV in Nigeria. This lack of financing is due to credit lenders not being able to recover their loans and the reported losses from non-performing loans. Current available financing comes with high interest rates and short repayment periods which is discouraging to small business owners. Possessing deep data analytics and operational management experience, Ifeanyi saw an opportunity here; “build a simple and guaranteed way to finance solar assets and you have a solution people want

What is Powerfull?

Powerfull is a solar financing company based in Africa dedicated to bridging the continent’s energy gap through data-driven solutions. Its mission is to make affordable and sustainable energy accessible to businesses and residential communities. By reducing the cost of energy from $0.40 (₦‎550) per kilowatt-hour for diesel generators to $0.10 (₦‎160) per kilowatt-hour using solar financing, Powerfull provide a cost-effective alternative to traditional energy sources.

The company has also received external funding from Startupbootcamp, Baobab Network and Techstars Sustainability Paris as well as a grant money prize from Innovate UK

They manage the entire financing process, from sourcing the necessary funding to overseeing, installing, and maintaining solar and battery assets. Its approach ensures that businesses and communities can transition to solar power without the financial burden and technical complexities. Additionally, they offer a robust digital infrastructure that includes smart metering and digital wallets, which guarantees secure and efficient repayment. This comprehensive solution not only lowers energy costs but also supports environmental sustainability and economic resilience in Africa.

How does Powerfull operate?
The process begins with sourcing the necessary capital from investors, grants, and financial institutions to fund solar energy projects. This strategic approach offers competitive financing options, making solar energy a viable alternative to traditional, costly diesel generators.

Once the funding is secured, Powerfull finances the solar energy projects. This financing covers the costs of solar panels, batteries, and other essential equipment needed for a successful installation. To ensure the highest standards of setup and maintenance, Powerfull partners with trusted solar installation and maintenance companies. These partnerships guarantee that the solar and battery assets are not only installed correctly but also maintained efficiently over their lifespan, ensuring long-term reliability and performance.

In addition to financing and installation, Powerfull provides a robust digital infrastructure, which includes smart metering and digital wallets. This technology enables precise tracking of energy usage and secure, convenient payment processing. The smart metres ensure accurate billing, while the digital wallets facilitate timely repayments, maintaining financial transparency and operational efficiency. By transitioning from diesel generators to solar energy, Powerfull helps its customers significantly reduce their energy costs—from $0.40 per kilowatt-hour for diesel to $0.10 per kilowatt-hour for solar. This cost reductionlowers operational expenses ando promotes environmental sustainability, aligning with our vision of a greener Africa.

With a population nearing 250 million by some estimates and this population largely catered to by small businesses, Nigeria has a market size of about 40 million registered businesses. As the naira fluctuates against the dollar at the market and the country relies on imported fossil fuels, the price of electricity is going up and will continue to do so. The total revenue collected by DisCos in Nigeria in Q1 of 2023 was about ₦247.09 billion, a 1.41% increase compared to the amount recorded in Q4 of 2022. According to data from Powerfull, the serviceable market size for renewable energy is currently valued at $105 billion across Africa and continued stakeholder and investor interests will encourage innovative solutions and growth in the sector. By providing this large Nigerian population with alternative, renewable, and cheaper energy, Powerfull is amply positioned to tap into a billion-dollar market.

Meet the founding team 

  • Ifeanyi Ukwuoma, founder & CEO: Previous experience with Amazon. Five years of experience in operation, expertise in scaling digital products and deep knowledge in cleantech and energy transition.


  • Mayowa Abiodun, Co-founder and CTO: 10 years of experience in developing proprietary software mapped to digital assets and physical solar assets. Domain expertise in EnergyTech and FinTech.


  • Chiemeka Okeke, Co-Founder and CFO: Expertise in scaling digital products leveraging experience with HSBC industrials investment banking, Legal and General Investment Management, and KPMG Deal Advisory. Chiemeka specialises in data analysis, investments with a focus on technology, renewable energy, project finance, strategy and growth.


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