Adequate access to electricity in Nigeria has been a major challenge for as far back as we can remember, with the average household living on about 6 hours of electricity daily. As a result, the majority of Nigerians have had to switch to alternative solutions, relying heavily on the use of diesel generators to carry on their basic daily operations. This has led to many negative effects, some of which include; increased cost of living, emission of toxic generator fumes into the environment and a growing need for affordable access to power.
Koolboks, a growing tech startup based in France with an offshoot in Nigeria has identified this need and in partnership with Sterling Bank, seeks to fill the gap by making cooling affordable and accessible to all. Using a patentable technology based on sun and water, Koolboks has produced off-grid solar refrigerators that when fully charged, can last for up to 4 days in the absence of power and comes equipped with external LED lighting and USB ports for charging. These solar refrigerators are ideal for use in homes, offices and businesses and provide reliable access to solar energy at any time of the day.
However, due to the high cost required to purchase solar refrigerator units, many Nigerians cannot afford this technology due to their low income levels. To cater to this demographic, Koolboks has partnered with Sterling Bank, a full service commercial bank licenced by the Central Bank of Nigeria with over 160 business offices and 1 million active customers, to offer a 2-year lease-payment agreement to interested customers. Sterling Bank was founded in 1960 with total assets in excess of NGN 1 trillion. They offer a wide range of financial services, one of which includes; retail & consumer banking and the issuance of microcredit facilities to individuals and small-scale businesses.
In this agreement, customers receive their Koolboks solar refrigerators, have it installed in their homes or businesses and enjoy access to the cooling service for as low as N10,000 a month for a 2-year period, after which they own the product.
Koolboks also introduces the Cooling as a Service (CaaS) business model adopted in partnership with BASE (Basel Agency for Sustainable Energy) where out of over 35 applications from 18 countries, Koolboks emerged as one of five winners selected to pilot the CaaS model and integrate it into their technology. The CaaS model eliminates the huge upfront payment required to purchase solar refrigerators and enables customers to enjoy the Koolboks cooling service while they pay small monthly fees for the service.
Expressing delight at this partnership, Mr Ayoola Dominic, the President and CEO of Koolboks said that “Sterling Bank and CaaS have supported Koolboks to expand the outreach of our products to customers that are very sensitive to upfront investments, while exposing them to the full value of our technology and service.”
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