Kenya-based financial technology company, M-Kopa has officially expanded into Nigeria and has appointed ex-Safeboda boss, Babajide Duroshola as the new Country Manager to lead its team.
The company ran a pilot test of its solar systems and smartphone financing options in the Nigerian market earlier in the year and saw a significant adoption rate.
Mayur Patel, M-KOPA’s Chief Commercial Officer, commenting on the expansion expressed that it presents an opportunity for the fintech to bring the power of its financing platform to serve more underbanked customers.
“Nigeria is an exciting market for M-KOPA to be expanding into. It presents an opportunity for us to bring the power of our financing platform to serve more underbanked customers, who otherwise would not readily have access to smartphone devices.Mayur Patel, M-KOPA’s Chief Commercial Officer
According to M-KOPA, the smartphone financing business had a higher uptake as M-KOPA sold over 20,000 devices in Lagos, its first market.
Patel explained that they have had great success during the pilot by combining the best of its multi-market company with a willingness to localise and adapt its offering to the unique needs of Nigerian consumers.
He added that through strategic partnerships and end-to-end solution, the company is best positioned to address mobile operators’ key challenge to convert consumers from 2G/3G networks to 4G.
Babajide Duroshola, the right man to lead
Following its success, the company decided to fully scale into the country and has chosen Babajide Duroshola to lead the expansion.
Before joining M-Kopa, Duroshola was the Nigerian country manager for Ugandan bike-hailing company, SafeBoda which he joined in 2019 to lead its expansion into the Nigerian market.
During his time at Safeboda, Duroshola was able to evade the deadly crackdown on bike-hailing in the country and created the country’s most successful bike-hailing company.
As the new the General Manager, Duroshola will be charged with the similar task of pushing M-Kopa’s expansion into the country.
Speaking on his appointment, Babajide Duroshola expressed excitement about tackling the new task ahead. He said that he has already seen firsthand in Nigeria how smartphone financing is a driver of business growth and the impact M-Kopa can have within the communities it works.
“Already, we have seen firsthand in Nigeria how smartphone financing is a driver of business growth and by increasing access to life-improving devices, M-KOPA has been able to deliver enormous opportunities for innovation and tangible impact within the communities it works. It is a great honour for me to be joining and advancing M-KOPA’s mission in Nigeria and I look forward to being an integral part of such a talented global team”Babajide Duroshola, General Manager M-Kopa
Founded in Kenya in 2011, M-KOPA started as a wider pay-as-you-go (PAYG) solar market in the country.
Over the years, the company expanded its offerings to include televisions, fridges and other electronic appliances to customers in Kenya and Uganda using its its pay-as-you-go financing model.
Last year, it added smartphone financing to its offerings in Kenya by partnering with Safaricom and Samsung.
So far, M-KOPA has sold over 1 million PAYG solar systems and provided $400 million in financing to millions of customers while raising over $180 million in equity and debt across its main markets in Kenya and Uganda.
M-KOPA uses a pay-as-you-go financing model that allows customers to build ownership over time by paying an initial deposit followed by flexible and affordable micro-payments.
As part of its expansion to Nigeria, M-KOPA is now present in both Lagos and Oyo.
Similar to its model in Kenya, the company has partnered with Samsung, and Airtel to make its smartphone financing accessible to customers in the country.
In addition to that, M-KOPA is looking to expand its talent pool and is currently recruiting for a number of roles including Android Developers, Back-end Engineers and Data Scientists.
With Duroshola’s track record, M-KOPA has a strong team to lead its expansion in Nigeria. It also signals the company’s focus of offering millions of underbanked customers across Sub-Saharan Africa access to financial services.
The company will be offering access to life-enhancing products and services such as smartphones, solar lighting, energy-efficient televisions, fridges and digital financial services via its financing platform.
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