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RIYADH: Every startup’s dream is to reach a valuation of one billion dollars (1 dollar = 0.95 euro) to become a unicorn. However, given the global needs of building a sustainable future, startups are eager to join the gigacorn’s new club.

To join this elite club, a company must be able to reduce the world’s 52 gigatons of carbon dioxide emissions by one gigaton per year. Egyptian infrastructure startup Pylon has drawn up plans to become a gigacorn.

In an exclusive interview with arabic newsPylon CEO and co-founder Ahmed Ashour said that becoming a gigacorn was even more important than achieving exponential growth or high revenues.

“It is a very difficult objective. It will take eight to twelve years to offset 2% of global emissions,” adds Ashour.

The company offers software as a service in the electricity and water industry to help companies better manage their operations, reducing lost revenue and providing a technology-enabled system.

business model

The company offers its services with a subscription model that encourages its customers to use it without demanding a big budget.

“What we’re doing is providing smart grid infrastructure for the subscription model, which translates into installing our solution and the utility of operating that grid smartly,” says Mr. Ashur.

The company also offers financial services that play an important role in its business model, giving Pylon a fintech edge to make it even more interesting.

“The most important feature is revenue collection, because currently the utility market loses about 40% of revenue each year,” continues the CEO.

Mr. Ashour explains that digitizing revenue collection at utility companies is critically important as the global market has lost nearly $400 billion in revenue.

Lost revenue is the result of improper billing methods or utility theft that Pylon can also detect with its technology. Mr. Ashour also claimed that customers have seen their income increase by 45% after using their services.

While it’s tempting to label Pylon a fintech startup given its business, Ashour insists on calling it an infrastructure cleantech company.

growth and expansion

With growth of around 250% year-over-year in 2021, the company is looking to various markets in different parts of the world to help it achieve its gigacorn dream.

Pylon currently operates in Egypt and the Philippines with twelve utility companies using its services. The company plans to open in Brazil and Indonesia while studying the Saudi market. While all of these markets could help Pylon meet its targets, Ashour says Egypt and the Philippines are likely to have the biggest impact in terms of their carbon emissions targets.

“We are working with all or most of the major private sector players here in Egypt, as well as five of the nine public sector companies, plus the Philippines for now,” he adds.

Pylon aims to repeat its 2021 performance this year with plans to achieve a 10% penetration rate in emerging markets.

After raising nineteen million dollars in an initial fundraising round, the company studied several markets and set up shop in the aforementioned countries.

“We are studying the market and we think this is an opportunity to add value to both Saudi Arabia and Pylon, of course,” says Ashour.

Thanks to the investments received, Pylon plans to establish partnerships in Africa and expand its activities in Jordan and Nepal.

This text is a translation of an article published on Arabnews.com

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