M-Kopa to spend Sh2bn on new products, expansion

Thursday January 14 2016

M-Kopa solar CEO and founder Jesse Moore

M-Kopa solar CEO and founder Jesse Moore together with a customer Everline Adhiambo, receiving an energy saving jiko from one of the firm’s employees Njeri Gikami. PHOTO | LILIAN OCHIENG 

More by this Author

Solar energy firm M-Kopa is set to spend Sh2 billion on diversification of its products line in Kenya, as it expands into Tanzania and Uganda.

The firm Thursday told nation.co.ke that the money was raised from an equity round led by London based Generation Investment Management LLP and others in December.

“We are using the money in a lot of ways spreading our businesses deeper into the region as we diversify our services in Kenya,” said Jesse Moore founder and CEO of M-Kopa, “We just launched our new line of business in Kenya which equips our customers to upgrade their lives in affordable ways.”

Colin le Duc, a partner at Generation Investment Management said in a statement that the money will help spread modern solar appliances to a huge new market.

M-Kopa’s core business is provision of affordable solar energy to off-grid customers especially in rural areas.

Poor households

A recent study by International Finance Corporation (IFC) states that poor Kenyan households spend up to 10 per cent of their monthly income on energy, M-Kopa saw the gap and has used it to thrive in business.

The firm managed to connect over 280, 000 homes across East Africa with solar power.

Mr Moore said that besides connecting customers, the firm has now embarked on building up their lives by equipping them with affordable household items.

“We already have over 40, 000 Kenyans who have upgraded their lives with our products with some acquiring mobile phones, cooking stoves and television sets,” said Mr Moore, “the customers take the products from M-Kopa and pay over a long period of time at a rate of Sh50 per day.”

This solar energy firm has established 50 retail shops countrywide for the customers, there is also a team of 25 dedicated callcenters that ensure customers are well informed and cared for.

The investment was also backed up by Sir Richard Branson, (founder of Virgin Group), and Jean and Steve Case (founder of AOL) as well as reinvestment by existing shareholders.