M-KOPA publishes its 2021 impact report

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M-KOPAa connected asset finance platform that provides underserved and unbanked customers across Africa with access to life-enhancing products and services, has just released its Impact report for 2021. M-KOPA was established over 10 years ago, and has pioneered and helped catalyze the growth of the pay-as-you-go (PAYG) solar market.

By combining the power of digital micro-payments with IoT (Internet of Things) connectivity to make credit more accessible, M-KOPA has since built one of the world’s most advanced digital credit platforms that has empowered communities serviced and underbanked to have access to credit. His work has given more than a million customers access to solar lighting, energy-efficient televisions and refrigerators, cash loans, smartphones, health insurance, and more.

M-KOPA’s impact report cites that around 85% of adults in sub-Saharan Africa live on less than $5.50 a day and earn varying daily or weekly incomes working in the informal economy. It is therefore quite difficult for most of them to access credit. Platforms that allow customers to pay the cost of an essential product in pay-as-you-go (PAYG) daily installments allow customers to access otherwise unaffordable goods and services as a lump sum purchase. Credit solutions can therefore be deliberately designed around the ebbs and flows that community members are used to in terms of daily income and expenses. This helps unlock a new level of financial inclusion.

Here are some of the highlights of M-KOPA’s social and environmental impact as of the end of 2021:

  • 600 million dollars of credit released for its customers
  • Over 1 million solar home systems sold, avoiding 2 million tonnes of CO2 emissions from kerosene lanterns.
  • More than one million people gain access to high-quality smartphones, enabling access to information and online income opportunities

Sub-Saharan Africa has the lowest internet adoption rate in the world. The report cites that currently 72% of the continent (or 1 billion people) are excluded because they cannot afford the upfront costs of devices such as smartphones. M-KOPA’s credit model removes these barriers. M-KOPA says its service has enabled more than one million entrepreneurs, students and business owners to harness the mobile internet as a stepping stone to the digital economy. They add that for every four smartphones sold, an individual accesses the Internet for the first time.

The report also states that 86% of customers say their quality of life has improved with M-KOPA. 40% of M-KOPA products are used primarily by women and 3.7 million lives are affected by clean energy and health services. M-KOPA’s full-time staff more than doubled from 2019 to 2021 with 944 additional jobs created. M-KOPA also expanded its sales force from 2,500 to 10,000 paid agents.

Having unlocked $600 million in credit for its customers so far, M-KOPA hopes to reach over 20 million customers in Africa and unlock more than $7 billion in credit by 2026. The platform, the infrastructure and ecosystem that M-KOPA has built is now also driving forward another critical sector, electromobility! Recently M-KOPA and Wander signed a major supply agreement, the first large-scale supply agreements for electric motorcycles in Africa. The deal will allow electric motorcycles to be sold on credit, lowering the barrier to entry for customers through affordable payment plans. Roam will deliver the fleet by the end of 2022, in time for a mass rollout in early 2023. This step is part of Roam’s vision to make electric vehicles more accessible to a wider market.

Motorcycles are a key pillar of the transport landscape in Africa, with a significant market share in the logistics, taxi and personal transport sectors. 99% of motorcycles assembled in Africa or imported to the continent are still internal combustion engine motorcycles which contribute a significant share of emissions from the transport sector. Therefore, accelerating the adoption of electric motorcycles has become critical.


 

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