ASSET FINANCE

M-Kopa powers homes, business with Sh24.19bn credit

The company has provided rent-to-own solar energy products to over 750,000 homes and businesses

In Summary

•Repayments are made via micropayments of as low as Sh50.

•M-kopa has now processed nearly 100 million mobile money payments.

Rentia Van Tonder, Corporate and Investment Banking -Standard Bank; Wairimu Gachara, Enterprise Commercial Business, East Africa- Microsoft; Sylvia Mulinge, Safaricom and Jesse Moore, CEO and Co-Founder, M-KOPA Solar
Rentia Van Tonder, Corporate and Investment Banking -Standard Bank; Wairimu Gachara, Enterprise Commercial Business, East Africa- Microsoft; Sylvia Mulinge, Safaricom and Jesse Moore, CEO and Co-Founder, M-KOPA Solar

Solar energy company, M-kopa has issued over $233 million (Sh24.189 billion) in credit to low-income customers over the last eight years.

In its 2019 Impact Report, providing rent-to-own solar energy products to over 750,000 homes and businesses has enabled them to access renewable power and save US$650 (Sh67.47 billion) over the lifetime of their systems.

The mobile-venture is aimed at providing low-income Kenyans and off-grid homes and businesses with asset financing for lights, phone charging, radios, televisions, fridges among other power appliances.

 

Repayments are made via micropayments of as low as Sh50.

M-kopa has processed nearly 100 million mobile money payments.

“Previously, customers were spending an average of more than Sh50 (50c) per day on kerosene, candles and phone charging. This payment has displaced the spending and in turn generating over $400 million (Sh41.5 billion) in increased household budgets across M-kopa’s customer base,” the report shows.

The report has shown that in 2018, more than 140,000 of its customers were involved in local phone charging services, hosting movie screenings or using solar lighting in business to generated income.

“Nearly 50 per cent of M-kOpa customers now undertake more productive activity, whether that is getting a new job, working more hours or supporting a business,” it stated.

The project is in partnership with Microsoft, Safaricom and Stanbic Bank Kenya, providing commercial funding.

“Our customers want to avoid taking on more expensive, unsecured debt, therefore, the need to provide service and products that truly make a difference. Affordable asset financing is the future of financial and economic inclusion,” M-kopa CEO and co-founder Jesse Moore said.

 

According to Safaricom chief customer officer Sylvia Mulinge, the move will help free millions of people from an expensive and economically-restrictive rental economy.

As a long-term technology and payment partner with M-kopa, we are very excited to see how circular economy principles are being applied to reduce the need for materials, increase affordability for customers and upskill hardware engineers in Kenya,” she said.

Asset finance is critical in unlocking the next wave of household financial and productivity gains in Africa,” Stanbic Bank head of power, corporate and investment banking, Rentia van Tonder said.