Sumitomo Corporation (Head Office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; Representative Director, President and Chief Executive Officer: Masayuki Hyodo) has invested in M-KOPA Holdings Limited (Head Office: Nairobi, Kenya; CEO: Jesse Moore, hereinafter, “M-KOPA”).
M-KOPA empowers homes and small businesses. It has pioneered and built an advanced pay-as-you-go platform – unlocking solar, information, technology, finance and opportunity for millions of people.
Through this investment, Sumitomo Corporation aims to launch a new business related to distributed power sources and contribute to improving the living standards of people inhabiting non-electrified areas. An estimated 1.1 billion people live in non-electrified areas around the world, with over 600 million in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The lack of electricity hinders the development of local industry, education and the information economy. Millions of homes are stuck in a rental economy, paying for services or small portions of expensive perishable items.
M-KOPA gives them a path to ownership through a system that is at the heart of the home, connecting lights, charging, radios, TVs and fridges. Subscribers chose a payment plan that suits them and they can quickly qualify for upgrades to more appliances, devices and financial services.
M-KOPA’s platform caters to the changing needs of homes that are moving beyond expensive, unreliable utilities and service providers. Daily subscriptions to M-KOPA are affordable and accessible for any home, to pay at any time, from any place with a mobile signal.
M-KOPANET is the company’s industry-leading, patented platform – using telemetry and IoT systems to power connected devices. The customer experience is enabled by analysis of device performance, customer preferences and subscriber payment behavior. The M-KOPAIQ Analytics Suite drives operations and helps the company anticipate new service opportunities.
Sumitomo Corporation will help M-KOPA achieve further growth by capitalizing on its expertise in the construction and operation of power generation plants, while also utilizing the findings and knowhow gained in various other business domains, thereby contributing to the delivery of sustainable clean energy to more people to upgrade their lives.
(Note 1) Solar home systems (SHSs) are small solar power generation and storage systems that supply electricity to home electric appliances such as lighting equipment, TV sets and fridges. Used in non-electrified areas, the solar panels generate electricity, which is then used to drive home electric appliances, eliminating the need to install a large power generator. M-KOPA also offers financing for upgradest to more productive assets. These include more lights, energy-efficient cooking stoves, internet-enabled smartphones, and water storage tanks.
|■Outline of M-KOPA|
|Name||:||M-KOPA Holdings Limited|
|Outline of business||:||Provision of PAYG-type SHSs and associated services, such as cashing and loans|
|Number of employees||:||827|
■Products sold by M-KOPA: SHSs
■Sumitomo Corporation’s Material Issues
Sumitomo Corporation Group positions “Six Material Issues to Achieve Sustainable Growth with Society” as an important factor in developing business strategies and in the decision-making process for individual businesses. Going forward, we will pursue sustainable growth by resolving these issues through our business activities. This project especially contributes to “Achieving Harmony with the Global Environment”, “Contributing to the Development of Local Communities and Industries”, “Establishing a Foundation for Comfortable and Enriching Lifestyles”, and “Providing Diverse ‘Accessibility’ ”.