M-KOPA sold over 70,000 solar home system units in their first 18 months and has now connected over 400,000 homes
M-KOPA launched their first solar product in Nairobi in November 2012. The solar home system has proved immensely popular with over 70,000 units sold in their first 18 months.
The business is growing rapidly – with around 2,500 staff and field agents now scaling operations
across Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.
These early achievements demonstrate strong rural demand for affordable energy and the potential to provide credit to a previously un-served market. M-KOPA has maintained around a 95% repayment rate from its customers, despite the fact that most households have incomes below the $2 day poverty line. The business has so far connected over 400,000 homes and are projected to serve 10 million people by 2018.
At the core of M-KOPA’s model is a commitment to generate value for their customers. They have built a 24 hour customer support team
to address technical issues, service centres to provide local customer support and a patented technology platform that provides a regular flow of information to customers to help them manage their cash flow. Friends and family at home and abroad are able to make payments to keep the lights turned on.
The company’s seminal partnership with Safaricom demonstrated M-KOPA’s ability to leverage a large mobile operator’s distribution network to sell products at scale – an approach they are ready to replicate in other markets in Africa. This early success has also proven attractive to investors: M-KOPA has now raised over $70 million in debt, equity and grant capital from a range of development actors and social investors.
||Shell Foundation has also partnered with the UK Department for International Development (DFID) to support M-KOPA’s world-class technical team to develop a wider range of energy products to meet the varying needs of the energy poor in East Africa.
M-KOPA’s work to pioneer the link between mobile banking and access to solar power has been widely recognised by the social investment sector and beyond, with the company winning the Financial Times Award for Excellence in Sustainable Finance
and the AfricaCom Rural Telecoms Award
in 2013 and named as one of Bloomberg’s “10 New Energy Pioneers”
in April 2014. They also won the Zayed Future Energy Prize
in January 2015.
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