Kenyan Solar energy startup has secured $19million for expansion. The funding was led by London-based Generation Investment Management. Generation Investment Management was founded by former US Vice President Al Gore and is chaired by David Blood. New investments also came in from Sir Richard Branson of Virgin Group), and AOL founders Jean and Steve Case.
Founded byNick Hughes and Jesse Moore, M-KOPA Solar is the global leader of “pay-as-you-go” energy for off-grid customers. Since its commercial launch in October 2012, M-KOPA has connected more than 280,000 homes in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda to solar power, and is now adding over 500 new homes each day.
According to Jesse Moore, chief executive officer (CEO) and co-founder of M-KOPA Solar, “We’re very pleased to have the world’s leading sustainability investors and entrepreneurs backing us at M-KOPA. We’re proving that solar power for the off-grid world will be transformative for customers, good for the planet and profitable for investors. In just three years we’ve reached over a quarter-million homes across three countries and we are just getting started.”
“Under the stewardship of an outstanding management team, we believe that M-KOPA has consistently demonstrated its role as a global leader in terms of robust technology, market traction and scale. With 1.3 billion people currently off-grid, M-KOPA’s innovative model means that modern solar-powered appliances can be made affordable to a huge new market. In addition to attractive long-term financial returns, this brings clear climate advantages and financial savings for low-income customers,” said Colin le Duc, partner at Generation Investment Management.
In February M-KOPA raised US$12.45 million in its fourth funding round. In December 2013, the startup raised a US$20 million round, with two other rounds prior to that.