M-Kopa raises $250m to scale high-impact business in Africa


An M-Kopa customer follows a transaction on her phone.

Photo credit: Courtesy 

What you need to know:

  • M-Kopa's solution embeds credit into the product through a smart digital connection.
  • The company has sold over 3 million of these products through a direct sales model.

Fintech M-Kopa has successfully closed over $250m in new debt and equity funding to expand its financial services offering to underbanked consumers across Sub-Saharan Africa. 

More than $200million in sustainability-linked debt financing was led and arranged by Standard Bank Group. Other participating lenders include The International Finance Corporation (IFC), funds managed by Lion's Head Global Partners, FMO: Dutch Entrepreneurial Development Bank, British International Investment, Mirova SunFunder and Nithio. 

“Financial inclusion not only enables economic growth; it also accelerates it. M-Kopa has, in a short time, managed to positively impact many lives by enabling access to power and smartphone connectivity, which are a vital part of enabling the economic empowerment of all,” said Nick Riley, Corporate Financing Solutions at Standard Bank.

A further $55million in equity investment was backed by existing strategic investor Sumitomo Corporation, which is contributing $36.5million to the total raise and will engage closely with M-Kopa on new growth markets and products. 

Blue Haven Initiative, Lightrock, Broadscale Group and Latitude, the sister fund to Local Globe, also participated in the transaction. Lendable was appointed as the Borrowing Base and Sustainability Verification Agent for the debt transaction.

Flexible credit model

“As a strategic investor, we are very excited to accelerate business growth through collaborative efforts in business development. By leveraging each expertise and resource, we believe this partnership will have a positive impact on both the financial and telecommunications sectors, ultimately enriching the lives of people across the continent,” said Masaki Nakajima, Senior Managing Executive Officer, General Manager, Media and Digital Business Unit at Sumitomo Corporation. 

M-Kopa’s fintech platform combines the power of digital micropayments with the Internet-of-Things (IoT) to provide customers with access to productive assets. 

In markets where individuals have limited pre-existing financial identities and conventional collateral, M-Kopa’s flexible credit model allows individuals to pay a small deposit and get instant access to everyday essentials, including smartphones, electric motorcycles and solar power systems, and then graduate to digital financial services such as loans and health insurance. 

M-Kopa's solution embeds credit into the product through a smart digital connection, giving customers ownership instantly, which they can pay off through micro-instalments over time. The company has sold over 3 million of these products through a direct sales model that includes more than 10,000 agents.

Digital financial services

With the new funding, the business aims to grow its smartphone services, expand its model to new markets and extend its financed product set. M-Kopa will also use the financing to drive women’s financial inclusion and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in its East African markets by increasing smartphone ownership among women and further developing its electric mobility solutions offering, respectively.

“At M-Kopa, we are working hard to create a positive environmental and social impact by systematically addressing the barriers to digital financial services. As we continue to scale we remain committed to building a sustainable business and closing economic and digital gender gaps. We are delighted to have the support of new and existing investors who share our vision and mission,” said Jesse Moore, the CEO and co-founder of M-Kopa.

M-Kopa’s operations started in East Africa before expanding to Nigeria in 2021 and, more recently, Ghana. From 2020 to 2022, M-Kopa recorded a compound annual growth rate of 85 percent in new customer acquisition, and was recently recognised as one of Africa's Fastest-Growing Top 100 companies by the Financial Times for two consecutive years, in 2022 and 2023. 

The business has reached over 3 million customers and provides over $1 billion in cumulative credit for underbanked customers in Africa. The company continues to scale rapidly and is on track to acquire an additional one million customers over the course of 2023.