How Kenya’s Safi Protocol uses blockchain, DeFi to boost access to clean energy

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Kenya’s Safi Protocol is a blockchain-based platform that bridges the gap between the decentralised finance (DeFi) ecosystem and qualified real-world clean energy customers in Africa. 

Founded in 2022, Safi Protocol facilitates seamless access to clean energy solutions for individuals and businesses while offering an innovative investment avenue for DeFi participants. 

“Essentially, we connect individuals looking to invest their cryptocurrency assets with clean energy projects in need of funding, creating a win-win situation that promotes sustainability and financial growth,” co-founder and head of operations George Mosomi told Disrupt Africa.

The idea behind the company emerged from a shared passion amongst the founding team for sustainability, carbon finance, and blockchain technology. 

“We identified a significant gap in the market where clean energy projects, particularly in Africa, often struggle to secure funding due to the lack of access to global capital markets. Traditional financing methods are often cumbersome and time-consuming,” said Mosomi. 

“Our platform addresses this by connecting these projects with DeFi investors who are looking for opportunities beyond traditional assets. While there may be competitors in the DeFi and clean energy spaces, Safi Protocol’s unique blend of both sectors sets us apart.”

Safi Protocol initially bootstrapped its way through the MVP, and then conducted a successful pre-seed round from its early advisors.

“This capital has been instrumental in developing our platform and expanding our reach to four countries,” said Mosomi, who said early uptake of Safi Protocol has been promising. 

“Since our launch, we’ve seen growing interest from both cryptocurrency investors and clean energy projects. We’ve onboarded 50 clean energy projects onto our platform in less than one year, and our user base has steadily increased. The response from our initial users has been positive, and we are actively working on enhancing the platform based on their feedback,” he said.

Currently, Safi Protocol is operating in Kenya, Uganda, South Africa and Nigeria. 

“Our goal is to establish a strong presence in these markets and build partnerships with local clean energy projects. In terms of expansion, we have plans to gradually extend our reach to other African countries with Zambia, Malawi and Ghana being our top priorities and eventually explore opportunities in other regions with similar energy challenges and a growing interest in DeFi,” said Mosomi.

Safi Protocol generates revenue through transaction fees and other value-added services on its platform, such as asset management and collateralisation of sustainability assets. 

“This allows users to extend their real-world assets to access to other financial services which would have otherwise been out of reach. While it’s important to note that as a relatively new venture, our revenue streams are steadily increasing as we onboard more users and projects onto our platform. We have a clear path to profitability and anticipate reaching that profitability in 2024 as our user base continues to grow,” Mosomi said.

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