Sebastian Rodriguez-Sanchez

2017 Scale-Ups Fellow

CEO, KopaGas

Digitalizing LPG distribution in order to accelerate access to clean cooking for millions of households.

Website: KopaGas

Pilot Market: Tanzania

Meet Scale-Ups Fellow Sebastian Rodgriguez-Sanchez
Sebastian Rodriguez-Sanchez is CEO & Co-Founder of KopaGas. An expert in energy and advanced metering infrastructure, he holds a PhD in Engineering from Imperial College and an MSc in Engineering Design fro the University of Manchester. Sebstian has lived in Sub-Saharan Africa for the last 10 years working on government, non-profit, and private sector projects. His career has been guided on the principle of solving issues for developing countries that can democratize opportunity. He believes that something as humble as the household LPG cylinder is a game changer for the life and agency of many women. More.

The issue
Cooking with charcoal and firewood is equivalent to being exposed to 400 cigarettes per hour. While people want cleaner fuels, paying for gas upfront is too expensive for most, exposing more than 80% of families in sub-Saharan Africa to harmful fumes every single day.

The solution
Through a proprietary smart meter for Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) and mobile money technology, KopaGas is digitalizing LPG distribution in order to accelerate access to clean cooking for millions of households. KopaGas has developed the world’s first commercial LPG smart meter that can be attached to a refillable household cylinder. This technology enables a pay-as-you-go business model that unlocks the health and environmental benefits of switching to LPG and the convenience of small digital payments via mobile phones. KopaGas has completed a commercial pilot in Dar es Salaam Tanzania in close collaboration with Oryx Tanzania. In this pilot, a household gets access to a kit consisting of a stove, cylinder, meter and accessories after paying a small commitment fee. The household then pays for the service using mobile money. Their meter automatically stops the gas flow when the credit or the gases in the cylinder are depleted. The pilot has shown a number of benefits including high costumer satisfaction, more discrete understanding of consumption, better asset management and reduced cash management.