Egyptian smart infrastructure start-up Pylon raises $19m to fuel expansion

Company aims to expand into emerging markets in South-East Asia, Africa and Latin America

Omar Radi, left, and Ahmed Ashour, co-founders of Egyptian start-up Pylon. Photo: Pylon
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Egyptian smart infrastructure management start-up Pylon raised $19 million in a seed-funding round that will help it expand into new markets and improve its technology.

The latest round, which is a mix of equity and debt, was led by Endure Capital that is supported by CDC Group, the UK government’s development finance institution.

It also saw the participation of Cathexis Ventures, Khwarizmi Ventures, Loftyinc Ventures and various angel investors.

Pylon, which offers smart grid infrastructure to utilities, will use the proceeds to expand into new emerging markets in South-East Asia, Africa and Latin America, the company said on Tuesday.

With a $22 billion market opportunity, Pylon provides a “compelling model” for investors, said Ahmed Ashour, co-founder and chief executive of Pylon.

“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," Mr Ashour said.

"We will also seek increased debt facilities to fast-track the accessibility of infrastructure solutions to utilities in friable economic landscapes.”

Smart grids monitor energy flows and can adjust to changes in supply and demand. When used with smart metering systems, they provide information on real-time energy and water use.

Founded in 2017, Pylon offers subscription-based smart metering as a service for electricity and water companies.

It provides a software solution that is adaptive to traditional and new metering technologies.

Using data analytics and artificial intelligence, Pylon’s solutions help companies cut operational inefficiencies, improve revenue collection and achieve a "more efficient environmental footprint", the company said.

The start-up claims it can help utility companies to increase their topline by up to 40 per cent and supports those in emerging markets to "capture up to $400bn of losses and uncollected revenue".

Smart electricity grids can reduce utilities’ carbon emissions by nearly 25 per cent, according to Pylon, which aims to achieve 1 giga-tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions reduction through its solutions by 2035.

The company, which is profitable and grew by 3.5 times last year, began with initial funding from US technology start-up accelerator, Y Combinator.

Its clients have installed more than one million end points of Pylon’s smart grid technology.

The start-up aims to increase its smart metering points to three million by 2023, which would represent four-times year-on-year growth.

“We believe that there is a multibillion-dollar market opportunity at hand, and that Pylon’s … model provides a compelling solution for utility companies to be more efficient, sustainable and digitally-driven,” said Tarek Fahim, general partner and founder of Endure Capital.

Updated: April 13, 2022, 5:30 AM