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M-KOPA Brings In $19 Million

Originally published on Sustainnovate.
By Henry Lindon

The US-based off-grid solar energy systems provider M-Kopa, a 2015 Zayed Future Energy Prize winner, has secured $19 million in new equity investment via the London-based investment vehicle Generation Investment Management.

For those unfamiliar with the company and situation, M-Kopa is based around a pay-as-you-go model, and operates primarily in Africa. The company is currently aiming to hit the 1 million homes mark in East Africa by the year 2017, and the new $19 million of equity investment brings that goal closer.

The basic thinking behind the approach used is that, while the initial funding needed to go solar is out of the reach of many rural Africans, solar energy systems can pay for themselves over the longer term — so why not offer a pay-as-you-go solar service?

The approach is based around potential users/customers paying a $30 deposit, and then 365 daily mobile money payments of 50¢. Following the completion of these payments, the customer owns the system outright.

“We’re very pleased to have the world’s leading sustainability investors and entrepreneurs backing us at M-Kopa,” stated M-Kopa CEO and co-founder Jesse Moore. “We’re proving that solar power for the off-grid world will be transformative for customers, good for the planet and profitable for investors.”

“In addition to long-term financial returns, this brings clear climate advantages and financial savings for low-income customers,” stated Generation Investment Management partner Colin le Duc.

Here’s a Sustainnovate video interview with Jesse Moore from earlier this year:

 
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