Over 1 billion people living in cities worldwide lack access to running water in their homes, and a significant number of the 3 billion people in developing countries with basic water connections experience extended shortages, either because of failure to pay and/or general water utility mismanagement.
All these individuals suffer several adverse effects from lack of water – whether it be wasted time through having to collect water (especially for women and girls), the cost of accessing more expensive alternatives to running water in their homes, or the health impact of consuming contaminated water.
CityTaps has developed a solution that bridges the gap between water utilities and the urban poor: a pre-payment service that comprises an IOT based smart and pre-paid water meter and billing software. Customers use mobile money to pre-pay for running water, at any time, for any amount, while utilities can optimize their collections and minimize wastage and non-revenue water. Running water in the home is substantially cheaper, more convenient, and healthier than any alternative. CityTaps’ solution has the potential to dramatically improve the lives and well-being of people who do not have access to water in the home.
GIF provided a $500,000 convertible loan as part of Pre-Series A round of CityTaps to enable CityTaps to Roll out 10,000 meters as part of an ongoing pilot in Niamey, Niger, make key hires, including business development executives and local teams in emerging markets and to iterate manufacturing processes to reduce cost of meter production. The investment was to help the company achieve these key objectives on the way to larger Series A investment and expansion to new markets.
Expand operations to multiple water utilities, reduce non-revenue water for utilities and improve quality of service to customer, reliably deliver piped water to end users, particularly those living under PPP$5
CityTaps has deployed over 2,100 CT meters in Niger, Kenya and Ecuador benefiting over 33,000 poor consumers with on average 29 million litres of running water at home every month. About 10% of the connections are completely new subscribers connected to water supply for the first time and another 13% are re-connected users who had been disconnected by the utilities due to outstanding arrears. New subscribers save on average 86 minutes every day and up to $3.14 per KL of piped water compared to other sources. All subscribers also saved an average 53 minutes per month in bill payment times and $2.81 per month in lower bills as users immediately get notified by SMS when there is a leak on their plot and avoid unnecessary consumption and they avoid paying reconnection fees or overdue surcharges.
Before CT suite, the water bought was primarily reserved for drinking purposes, with water used for hygiene kept at a minimum. With cheaper and easier access to water through the prepaid meters, users report more water availability which results in improved hygiene, especially in homes with young children. Households report ability to do more laundry, take more showers, and keep their house clean.