M-KOPA, a Kenyan startup that gives underbanked customers access to finance to acquire solar lighting, smartphones, TVs and domestic appliances has launched operations in Abeokuta, the capital of Ogun State, Nigeria.
This development, which is part of its expansion plan into Nigeria, means M-KOPA is now present in three states: Lagos, Oyo and now Ogun.
The company’s country manager, Babajide Duroshola made this announcement on his Twitter handle.
Recall that Babajide was appointed the General Manager of the Nigerian arm back in July. Upon appointment, he was charged with the task of pushing M-Kopa’s expansion across the country.
Accepting the charge, the GM 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 the financing company 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
The startup’s foray into West Africa, using Nigeria as a foothold is coming after it has established operations in its home country Kenya, and neighbouring Uganda.
$400M in financing so far
M-Kopa was launched in 2012 and is headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya. The company 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, Uganda and Nigeria using its pay-as-you-go financing model.
The expansion in Nigeria came after a pilot project in which the company recorded sales of over 20,000 smartphone devices in Lagos.
The company has partnered with Airtel and Samsung to enable access to smartphones and broader digital connectivity.
To date, M-KOPA says it has provided over $400m in financing and sold over 1 million pay-as-you-go solar systems and 500,000 smartphones to customers in Kenya, Uganda and Nigeria.
During the initial advent into Nigeria, the chief commercial officer of M-Kopa, Mayur Patel emphasized the startup’s mission 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
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