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Kenyan fintech M-Kopa announces Nigeria expansion
Nairobi-based startup M-Kopa has announced its official expansion into Nigeria, marked by the appointment of new General Manager Babajide Duroshola.
Over 75% of M-Kopa users own a smartphone for the first time
The platform, founded in 2011, has evolved from its role as a pay-as-you-go (PAYG) solar power pioneer to including smartphone financing in 2019, providing over 1 million PAYG solar systems and 500 000 smartphones to customers in Kenya, Uganda and Nigeria, with over 75% of M-Kopa users owning a smartphone device for the first time.
Duroshola sweeps clean
Ventureburn has tracked M-Kopa’s growth, from the first sales to the investments it took to penetrate the booming African mobile payments market.
In the 10 years since M-Kopa pioneered the wider PYAG solar market, the startup has helped millions of Africans to cut 2 million tonnes of carbon dioxide and black carbon. “The idea was to combine the power of digital micropayments with IoT connectivity to make financing for everyday essentials more accessible,” clarified GM Duroshola.
Duroshola explained his role in the expansion. “As the Country General Manager, I will be in charge of overseeing M-Kopa’s operations in Nigeria and leading a rapidly growing team of 50 people. My role will also include scaling operations across Nigeria; already, we have started operations in Lagos and Oyo state and will continue to expand across the country,” he said in a statement to Ventureburn.
“Nigeria has a population of over 200-million, many of whom are on 2G/3G networks. Through our partnerships with OEMs and MNOs such as Samsung and Airtel, we are best positioned to offer underbanked customers affordable ownership of quality 4G smartphones by offering them the ability to pay on the go,” Duroshola stated.
He explained that his role would focus on strengthening existing partnerships “…and establishing new ones to advance M-Kopa’s mission in Nigeria, drawing on my years of experience working in the tech space where I have measurable success to do this.”
The Lagos pilot has already recorded sales of over 20 000 devices. “We’ve had great success in our pilot by combining the best of what we’ve built as a multi-market company with a willingness to localise and adapt our offering to the unique needs of Nigerian consumers. As we scale our presence across the country, we are excited to welcome Babajide on board. He is an exceptional leader with broad cross-functional experience and the ideal candidate to drive the growth of our team in Nigeria as we expand M-Kopa’s footprint on the continent,” commented Mayur Patel, M-Kopa’s Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) in a statement.
“Smartphones are gateways for customers to access knowledge and information previously out of reach while they connect to the digital economy, as well as connect micro-merchants with suppliers, customers and the wider community for jobs and upskilling. Via our financing platform, we have delivered over $400-million worth of savings for customers through our products and services,” said Duroshola.
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Featured image: M-Kopa Nigeria General Manager, Babajide Duroshola (Supplied)