A Nigerian businessman, Kene Okafor, has created an innovative tech product called Mkopa 190, which is a portable data collection and storage device. He has spent a lot of time and resources in developing the device and has managed to get it to a stage where it can be utilized by a number of different industries. Now, he has joined TechCrunch and hopes to spread his message.
Pay-as-you-go model is an innovative idea to finance solar energy in Africa. There are a few companies who provide this service. They include Asaak, Tugende and SafeBoda. These companies are similar to M-KOPA. But a large number of African adults are unbanked. This makes it hard for them to purchase important purchases outright. And the majority of Africans live on less than $5.50 a day, so they are unable to afford the payments. To solve this problem, M-KOPA offers their products to underbanked customers in select African markets without requiring collateral.
Initially, M-KOPA focused on lower-income and rural customers in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. Later on, they expanded to include a wider range of offerings. Specifically, they offered solar power home systems and digital financial services. In addition to these, they also launched smartphone financing. After 18 months, they sold over 500,000 smartphones. The company has now expanded its business to other countries, such as Ghana and Nigeria.
Expanding to other markets
If you aren’t familiar with M-KOPA, you are missing out on a gimmick that has been helping unbanked and underbanked customers in select African markets get access to products without having to use their own cash. The company is based in Kenya and operates in Nigeria, Ghana, and Uganda. Since 2011, M-KOPA has sold more than 500,000 smartphones in just over two years. In that time, the company has also expanded its digital financial services to include an energy provider.
In addition to its innovative financing platform, M-KOPA has been on a roll when it comes to expanding its customer base and hiring. Last year, the company announced a $75 million funding round that will allow it to continue its mission of providing innovative and high-quality products to underserved customers. By leveraging its expertise in the technology and mobile sectors, M-KOPA is able to deliver products and services that are inclusive in terms of who can qualify.