27 April 2017

East Africa: Half a Million Homes Now Connected to M-Kopa Solar Home Systems

M-KOPA Solar has announced the 500,000th home connected to its pioneering solar home systems.

According to a press statement, Dorothy Nabawesi became M-KOPA's 500,000th customer when she purchased a M-KOPA 400 system at the M-KOPA Shop in Mukono, Uganda. She says, "I don't have the money to access the grid. For so long, the good things have been passing me by, like watching national and international news on TV. My grandchildren used to go to a neighbour's house to get information about the world. Now with M-KOPA, I have better lighting for them to read, plus extra power to charge my phone, listen to radio and watch TV."

The M-KOPA 400 - the company's larger solar system that includes a digital TV - has been available in Kenya since Q2 2016 and now also being rolled out in Uganda and Tanzania. Customers can purchase a M-KOPA Solar TV either by acquiring a M-KOPA 400 system, or by extending their $0.50/day M-KOPA solar home system payment plan and upgrading for more power and a solar TV.

Jesse Moore, CEO and Co-Founder, M-KOPA, said in the press statement, "Half a million customers is a terrific milestone for the M-KOPA team and the entire off-grid power sector. We've reached this point thanks to high quality products, a relentless commitment to customer service and a conscientious approach to pricing and credit."

The company is also announcing that it has reported over 250,000 credit scores in Kenya through the Credit Information Sharing initiative of the Central Bank of Kenya. Ninety-two percent are positive credit reports of loans that have been completed, or are in good standing. This enables customers to access additional financial services from M-KOPA and other financial institutions.

In April 2015, M-KOPA launched its own upgrades service for productive assets - including water tanks, energy-efficient cooking stoves and smart phones. In the two years since launch, it has sold over 150,000 upgrade products.

Moore says, "Our customers don't just need a panel and a battery. They are looking to M-KOPA to provide products and services that help them be more connected, productive and financially secure. With half a million households now on board, we really understand customer needs and aspirations. We plan to grow our customer relationships for many years to come."

M-KOPA has also established a separate business unit - M-KOPA Labs - to conduct research and development of additional products and services that run on its power and finance platform. It currently has research projects underway with several strategic partners and is looking at new products and market extensions across a range of sectors.

On the basis of having connected 500,000 homes to solar power, M-KOPA customers now enjoy over 62.5 million hours of kerosene-free lighting per month and they will save over 600,000 tonnes of CO2 over four years.

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