Energy, utilities, environment
M-KOPA Solar, headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, is the global leader of "pay-as-you-go" energy for off-grid customers. Since its commercial launch in October 2012, M-KOPA has connected more than 200,000 homes in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda to solar power, and is now adding over 500 new homes each day. The success of M-KOPA (M= mobile, KOPA= to borrow) stems from making solar products affordable to low-income households on a pay-per-use installment plan. Customers acquire solar systems for a small deposit and then purchase daily usage "credits" for US $0.45, or less than the price of traditional kerosene lighting. After one year of payments customers own their solar systems outright and can upgrade to more power. All revenues are collected in real-time via mobile money systems (such as M-PESA in Kenya) and embedded GSM sensors in each solar system allow M-KOPA to monitor real time performance and regulate usage based upon payments. This connected design means that M-KOPA is processing vast amounts of data (i.e. over 10,000 mobile payments per day) via the company's proprietary cloud platform, M-KOPAnet.As of May 2015 M-KOPA employs over 650 full time staff across East Africa and sells through a network of 1,000 direct sales agents. It has also commenced licensing its technology to partners in other markets. M-KOPA has been recognized for its pioneering business mode and scale, notably winning the 2015 Zayed Future Energy Prize, being selected as the top New Energy Pioneer at the 2014 Bloomberg New Energy Finance awards and earning the 2013 FT/IFC Excellence in Sustainable Finance Award.
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