February 03, 2015

News that's news: Kenya's M-Kopa Solar Closes $12.45m

If there's any news worth blogging about, it is this:

Breaking: Kenya's M-Kopa Solar Closes $12.45 million Fourth Funding Round

M-KOPA Solar has today closed its fourth round of investment through a $12.45 million equity and debt deal, led by LGT Venture Philanthropy. The investment will be used to expand the company's product range, grow its operating base in East Africa and license its technology to other markets.

Lead investor LGT Venture Philanthropy has backed M-KOPA since 2011 and is making its biggest investment yet in the fourth round, which also includes reinvestments from Lundin Foundation and Treehouse Investments (advised by Imprint Capital)and a new investment from Blue Haven Initiative.

In less than two and a half years since launch, M-KOPA Solar has installed over 150,000 residential solar systems in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, and is now connecting over 500 new homes each day. The company plans to further expand its distribution and introduce new products to reach an even larger customer base.

Jesse Moore, Managing Director and Co-Founder M-KOPA Solar says, "Our investors see innovation and scale in what M-KOPA does. And we see a massive unmet market opportunity to provide millions of off-gridhouseholds with affordable, renewable energy. We are just getting started in terms of the scale and impact of what we will achieve.

Oliver Karius, Partner, LGT Venture Philanthropy says, "We believe that we are at the dawn of a multi-billion dollar 'pay-as-you-go' energy industry. LGT Venture Philanthropy is a long-term investor in M-KOPA Solar because they've proven to be the market leaders,both in terms of innovating and delivering scale. We have also seen first-hand what positive impacts their products have on customers lives - making low-income households wealthier and healthier."

This deal follows the successful $20 million (KES1.8 billion) third round funding closed in December 2013 - which featured a working capital debt facility, led by the Commercial Bank of Africa.

The reason this is real news in the "new" sense is that indigenous solutions can work because they are tailored to the actual events and activities on the ground. In contrast, the western aid / poverty agenda typically doesn't work and does more harm than good, because it is an export of western models to countries that aren't aligned to those assumptions. Message to the west: Go away, we've got this ourselves.

Posted by iang at February 3, 2015 08:18 AM

So when does this company expect to turn a profit?

Posted by: Ajohnymous Coward at February 17, 2015 03:32 PM
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