[Kenya] M-KOPA raises new funding from Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation
Pay-as-you-go solar and finance company M-KOPA has raised funding from Japanese multinational, Sumitomo Corporation to empower homes and small businesses. Through this investment, Sumitomo Corporation aims to launch a new business related to distributed power sources and contribute to improving the living standards of people inhabiting non-electrified areas.
The deal was announced on December 18, 2018, though the exact amount, as well as other details about the deal, weren’t disclosed.
M-KOPA has pioneered and built an advanced pay-as-you-go platform – unlocking solar, information, technology, finance and opportunity for millions of people.
Sumitomo Corporation will help M-KOPA achieve further growth by capitalizing on its expertise in the construction and operation of power generation plants, while also utilizing the findings and know-how gained in various other business domains, thereby contributing to the delivery of sustainable clean energy to more people to upgrade their lives.
Solar home systems (SHSs) are small solar power generation and storage systems that supply electricity to home electric appliances such as lighting equipment, TV sets and fridges. Used in non-electrified areas, the solar panels generate electricity, which is then used to drive home electric appliances, eliminating the need to install a large power generator.
An estimated 1.1 billion people live in non-electrified areas around the world, with over 600 million in Sub-Saharan Africa. The lack of electricity hinders the development of local industry, education and the information economy. Millions of homes are stuck in a rental economy, paying for services or small portions of expensive perishable items.
M-KOPA gives them a path to ownership through a system that is at the heart of the home, connecting lights, charging, radios, TVs and fridges. Subscribers chose a payment plan that suits them and they can quickly qualify for upgrades to more appliances, devices and financial services.
M-KOPA’s platform caters to the changing needs of homes that are moving beyond expensive, unreliable utilities and service providers. Daily subscriptions to M-KOPA are affordable and accessible for any home, to pay at any time, from any place with a mobile signal.
M-KOPANET is the company’s industry-leading, patented platform – using telemetry and IoT systems to power connected devices. The customer experience is enabled by analysis of device performance, customer preferences and subscriber payment behaviour. The M-KOPAIQ Analytics Suite drives operations and helps the company anticipate new service opportunities.
M-KOPA also offers financing to upgrade to more productive assets. These include more lights, energy-efficient cooking stoves, internet-enabled smartphones, and water storage tanks.