M-KOPA secure $20 million
Shell Foundation partner, M-KOPA Solar, has announced the completion of a $20 million round of investment to expand their work in East Africa.
Since launching 18 months ago, the pioneering energy-finance company has sold over 70,000 solar energy systems (on a pay-as-you-go basis) to low income consumers in Kenya, and now aims to expand its customer base to one million homes by 2018.
M-KOPA offers customers an affordable repayment plan in collaboration with Safaricom, Kenya’s largest mobile phone operator, through their mobile payment platform, M-PESA.
The latest round of funding includes $10 million debt on commercial terms from the Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA) – backed by the future cash flows from its customers’ repayment plans. The business also secured equity investment (from Gray Ghost) and grant funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, LGT Venture Philanthropy and the UK Department for International Development to support further product innovation and expansion into new countries in east Africa.
Shell Foundation and M-KOPA have been working together since 2009 to co-create a business model that could make brighter, cleaner and more reliable energy available to off-grid customers across Africa.
We're very impressed with M-KOPA Solar's technology platform, which allows them to extend credit to consumers who are otherwise lacking formal collateral or credit histories
Jeremy Ngunze, CEO, Commercial Bank of Africa
The business currently offers a high quality d.light solar system with three lights, phone charging and a solar powered radio for a deposit of $35 and daily payments which are significantly cheaper than kerosene. After 12 months customers own their systems outright.
Jeremy Ngunze, CEO at CBA said: "We're very impressed with M-KOPA Solar's technology platform, which allows them to extend credit to consumers who are otherwise lacking formal collateral or credit histories. It is clear that there is an enormous, creditable market that wants to be empowered by cutting-edge energy, telecommunications and financial solutions."
Read more about M-KOPA’s latest achievements