British International Investment

M-Kopa Holding Limited

East AfricaFinancial services

M-Kopa is Africa’s leading connected asset financing provider, selling a diversified range of devices including smartphones, digital financial services such as cash loans and solar home systems in Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria and Ghana. Its products are sold through a “pay-as-you go” (“PAYG”) model, requiring clients to pay an initial deposit followed by daily instalments via mobile money. As of today, the company has over 1 million active customers.

This investment was made when British International Investment was named CDC Group.

Our investment

Description of the investment.

We made our first equity investment in 2016 when M-Kopa’s product offering was primarily solar home systems. M-Kopa since then evolved from a pure off grid player to a connected asset financing platform. It is now on track to become a leading African personal asset financing provider, selling a diversified range of devices including smartphones, digital financial services such as cash loans and solar home systems. Products are sold through a “pay-as-you go” (“PAYG”) model, requiring clients to pay an initial deposit followed by daily instalments via mobile money.

Impact information

Applies to investments made from 2019 onwards. The tabs in this section define what we expect to achieve through the investment, assessing the potential impact of the investment against six dimensions of impact. You can find more details on our methodology of assessing impact here.

What?

Impact
  • Improve livelihoods through access to affordable clean energy (SDG targets 7.1, 7.2).
  • Improve standards of living through improved and more affordable access to mobile internet (SDG target 9C).

How?

How?

M-Kopa provides flexible repayment options via an appropriate financial PAYGo product, which enables access to clean energy and appliances. It also helps establish credit histories which can improve access to finance.

Who?

Stakeholder Geography Characteristics
Customers

Kenya and Uganda

Poor, low-income and middle-income (largely rural customers, 80 per cent of current (solar) customers earn below $500 per month).

Customers

Kenya and Uganda

Poor, low-income and middle-income (30 per cent are new smartphone users earning c.$150 per month, corresponding to bottom c. 40 per cent; and 70 per cent are existing smartphone users, earning c. $400 per month).

How much?

Scale Depth/Duration
  • Supporting expansion to a target c. 545,000 new customers by 2024.
  • Supporting the sale of 1.5 million phones by 2024 (there may be more than one phone per customer).
  • Income generation of $65 per month where energy supports productive uses (data from 140,000 which represents 5 per cent of current customers). Energy cost savings of $650 per solar system from displacing kerosene. Credit histories established for 450,000 customers in Kenya.
  • Improved access to quality of mobile internet for first-time smartphone users, new phones allow significantly increased access to internet. For existing smartphone users, new phones would allow access to faster mobile connection (4G). Smartphones currently range from c. $80-$600, M-KOPA's are $180-$220. M-KOPA's plan includes second-life refurbishment, which would further reduce prices.

Contribution/additionality

Contribution/additionality
  • Financial additionality: Capital not offered on the same terms.
  • Value additionality: Our support includes: i) governance and core business support, i.e. by establishing a formal credit committee, and support in expanding into other markets; ii) project based support such as market research, development of credit scoring algorithms and significant work around reducing e-waste (i.e. 55,000 solar kits refurbished); and iv) market shaping through sector-wide engagement with industry association GOGLA, including adoption of customer protection principles.

Grid score

Grid Score

To help us direct our investments, we previously used a tool called the Development Impact Grid. It scored investments out of four, based on two factors: the difficulty of investing in a country and the propensity of the sector to generate employment. This tool was used for investments until the end of 2021. Since 2022 it has been replaced by the Impact Score.

3.74

Risk

Execution Risk
  • Relates to the ability of the to successfully scale beyond Kenya, particularly in Nigeria and Uganda.

Reporting and Complaints Mechanism

The Reporting and Complaints Mechanism allows anyone outside BII to report alleged breaches of the business integrity or environmental and social provisions of BII’s Policy on Responsible Investing. This includes breaches made by BII, a BII investee, or a portfolio company of a fund in which BII has invested. The Reporting and Complaints Mechanism Rules are available here. Reports and complaints can be submitted by email to [email protected] or by mail. See more details on our Reporting and Complaints Mechanism here.

For any other general enquiries contact us at [email protected]

  • Key facts

    Last updated

    When the last quarterly update of the website database occurred.

    :
    January 2024
    Project number

    An identifier number shared by investments in the same project.

    :
    D28
    Status

    The current status of the investment (green flag for active and red flag for exited).

    :
    Active
    Region

    The geographical region where the country is located. We currently invest in Africa, South Asia, South East Asia and the Caribbean. In 2023, BII’s investment mandate was extended allowing it to invest in regional funds linked to Ukraine, with the majority of activity expected to begin post-war. Investments outside these regions were made prior to 2012 under previous investment mandates.

    :
    East Africa
    Country

    The countries from which we derive the value of our investment. Where value is derived from multiple countries, this is indicated.

    :
    Kenya
    Sector

    We prioritise those sectors that facilitate development and need our capital the most. Our priority sectors contribute towards many of the Sustainable Development Goals. They range from investing in the power infrastructure that will provide people with better access to electricity, to investing in financial institutions that direct capital to the individuals and businesses that need it the most.

    :
    Financial services

    We provide capital in the following ways: directly – through direct equity, direct debt, guarantees and other non-intermediated financial instruments; and indirectly – principally through investment funds.

    For direct investments and fund investments, this is the date BII committed capital to the investments. This is typically the date on which legal agreements are signed by all parties.

    For the portfolio companies of our fund investments, this is the date (either the month or the quarter) on which the fund committed capital to the portfolio company.

    For direct equity investments, this is the date at which British International Investment exited the investment.

    For debt investments, this is the date at which the final debt repayment was made.

    For funds, this is the date at which the fund was terminated.

    For underlying fund investments, this is the date at which the fund manager exited the investment.

    The total amount committed, per financial instrument, per investment, on the date BII becomes subject to a binding legal obligation to provide funding or assume a contingent liability. This information is provided in US dollars.

    For direct investments, this is the amount that BII has committed to the business or project. For fund investments, this is the amount BII has committed to the fund.

    The currency in which the investment was made.

    Investment type :
    Equity
    Start date :
    September 2016
    Amount :
    $11.65m
    Currency of investment :
    USD
    Domicile

    The company or investment fund’s place of incorporation.

    :
    United Kingdom
    2X Gender Finance

    Indicates whether the investment is ‘2X qualified’ using the 2X Challenge criteria. You can find out more here. It only applies to investments made from 2018 onwards, when the 2X Challenge was first launched.

    :
    Fully qualified

Related investments made by BII into this company:

Investment name Commitment Region Sector Start date Status
Investment 02 $7m East Africa Financial services November 2017 Active
Investment 03 $3m East AfricaEast Africa Financial services December 2019 Active
Investment 04 $7.5m East AfricaEast AfricaEast Africa Financial services June 2021 Active

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