Venture-backed technology company KOKO Networks recently launched its first network of 700 “KOKOpoints” inside neighbourhood shops across Nairobi to give its consumers access to machines, combining a fuel ATM, an e-commerce kiosk and an in-store digital media experience.
KOKOpoints dispense KOKO Fuel, which mainstreams access to affordable clean bioethanol cooking fuel within a short walk of all homes and the platform enables bioethanol cooking fuel to scale rapidly by undercutting dirty fuels.
Customers use smart canisters that dock with KOKOpoints to dispense fuel they have pre-purchased via M-PESA. They then take their smart canister home to dock into their KOKO Cooker, a modern, high-power 2-burner ethanol stove that delivers clean heat for modern cooking at an affordable price.
According to KOKO’s CEO and Co-Founder, Greg Murray: “Many fast-growing cities face unique challenges that innovative technology can solve. KOKO has created the infrastructure for inventing, producing and delivering hardware and software solutions that improve life in the city. Kenyans have a strong reputation for embracing innovation and we are proud to partner with the shopkeepers of Nairobi in launching our first Network.”
KOKO Fuel is delivered in partnership with Vivo Energy Kenya, the company which owns and operates Shell-branded fuel distribution infrastructure. KOKO’s technology platform delivers major cost efficiencies when partnered with the downstream fuels industry, removing the need for a centralised bottling facility and disposable plastic bottles in order to make clean fuel available in close proximity to customers.
With the launch of this Network, KOKO now partners with 700 shops that serve as pick-up points for the KOKO Cooker, creating a low-cost e-commerce experience that has solved the last-mile challenges that typically drive up costs for customers.
KOKO has over 500 staff in East Africa and India and is eyeing the $20 billion market in Africa which remains dominated by dirty cooking fuels such as charcoal, which is produced through deforestation and causes millions of early deaths through indoor air pollution.