One year after the partnership agreement between Total Access To Energy Solutions and ASOBO, interview with Laurens Friso, Co-founder & CEO.
In February 2020, Total Access To Energy Solutions announced a partnership with the start-up, ASOBO. This agreement should accelerate the deployment of ASOBO's "propulsion as a service" offer on the Kenyan shores of Lake Victoria. One year later, an interview with Laurens Friso, Co-founder & CEO at ASOBO
What is ASOBO and its value proposition?
Laurens Friso / ASOBO is a young social business providing electric mobility services on the water in emerging markets. We have started replacing petrol outboard engines of fishers on Lake Victoria. By 2025 we want to have electrified thousands of boats and built a sustainable platform for our services across multiple markets.
ASOBO's value proposition is affordable, hassle-free and clean propulsion, that always works.Our full-service package includes an electric engine powered by batteries, as well as daily recharging and delivery of the batteries, and all necessary maintenance and repairs. Training for the owners and crew of the boat is included, including assistance and a 24/7 hotline with a rescue service. The package is offered on a predictable rental fee and helps the boat owner and crew to save money on fuel, oil and maintenance. They also benefit from more reliable fishing operations, enhanced safety and comfort on board, including time savings and hassle compared to petrol engines.1
In the process, ASOBO substantially reduces greenhouse gas emissions and water pollution associated with oil and petrol spillages.
One year after the partnership signed between ASOBO and Total Access To Energy Solutions, what are the key milestones achieved? What lessons do you draw from this particular year?
L. F. / As with many businesses in the world, the global pandemic had significant impact on ASOBO - we were forced to pause our market operations for 6 months. Despite this delay, and thanks to the continued support of our partners like Total Access To Energy Solutions, we managed to restart in a stronger way, having secured more funding, built our initial team, developed our first charging / office hub and most importantly - got our first paying customers on the water.
What are your main challenges for the coming years?
L. F. / Our main challenges are:
- identifying and recruiting new talents to work in a rural part of Kenya,
- convincing a conservative customer group of the important advantages of our solution
- And finally, getting more appropriate technology for our customers and use cases.
1 Find all the information in our article dedicated to the signature of the partnership.