Image Credit: Former President Barack Obama Being Taken Through The MKOPA Mobile Kit-Acquisition Process By an M-KOPA Customer Representative At The GES Summit in 2015 at Nairobi, Kenya. M-KOPA Solar.
The new year, 2017, has begun in earnest for the cleantech scene in Kenya, as M-KOPA, a local Kenyan clean energy company has been named among other contenders as an innovative outfit in the Global Cleantech 100. The company leverages mobile money penetration in providing solar energy to bottom-of-the-pyramid off-grid rural populations in Kenya and the region. With an arguably-disruptive pay-as-you-go business model propagated by M-PESA (Kenya’s novel mobile money remittance service) and a soaring mobile uptake currently standing at 83%, M-Kopa Solar, is providing a rent-to-own solar energy kit which consumers pay for through pay-as-you-go mobile money installments which culminates in their ownership of the product(s).
The M-Kopa Home Solar Kit consists of a solar panel, a control unit, three low-energy LED light bulbs and a rechargeable radio. The control unit has a USB port which can be used for charging phones, which could be a perfect economic opportunity for rural households as an extra source of income. For a $35 down-payment, buyers acquire the system then make 365 (payment throughout the year) daily payments of $0.43 through the M-Pesa mobile money system. When the kit is fully paid for, it transfers to the buyers.
Since inception, M-KOPA has sold nearly 500,000 solar units in Eastern Africa and Ghana, which means half a million homes within the region have been lit up.
The company has an estimated daily turnover of 500 units a day and it aims to sell 1-million M-Kopa kits by the end of this year. The company has employed nearly 1,000 permanent staff within the region and an additional 1,000 field support officers.
Global Cleantech 100
M-KOPA Solar beat over 900 companies from 77 countries to join the top 100. Together with inputs from an 86-person expert panel, the Cleantech Global committee collated the said list. The criteria included; independence, operating on a for-profit status and not having been listed on any major stock exchange. The competition is an indication of the dynamic cleantech scene, says Richard Youngman, CEO, CTG (Cleantech Group).
Read more about M-Kopa on Cleanleap:
- Azuri and M-Kopa are taking on the Killer in the Kitchen
- The global Cleantech 100 keeps getting more global
- The African Clean Energy Race: Kenya vs. Ethiopia
- Home solar kits to play a major role in boosting power access by rural communities