Nairobi-based pay-as-you-go energy provider to off-grid homes M-KOPA Solar has secured US$80 million to provide finance for pay-as-you-go solar installations in one million homes in East Africa.

The facility will be utilised over the next three years on top of the 500,000 already connected.

According to Jesse Moore, CEO and Co-Founder, M-KOPA Solar,“ This facility offers lenders the chance to connect low-income homes to power and information – while delivering sustainable returns. It’s part of an emerging trend for development partners and investors to look at more cost effective ways to fund last mile connectivity.”

The debt facility is backed by customer receivables, paid over mobile money payment plans. Stanbic Bank is leading a US$55 million local currency equivalent debt facility and has committed US$9 million. CDC (US$ 20 million), FMO (US$ 13 million) and Norfund (US$ 13 million). M-KOPA has also secured US$25 million in US$ debt from responsAbility, Symbiotics, and Triodos Investment Management.

To date M-KOPA has connected well over 500,000 homes in East Africa to affordable, safe and clean energy. Its predominantly low-income customer base is accessing lighting, phone charging, radio and TV on daily mobile money payment plans that are less than the typical cost of kerosene.

M-KOPA customers now enjoy over 62.5 million hours of kerosene-free lighting per month and they will save over 600,000 tonnes of CO2 over four years. Customers who complete their payment plans are upgrading with M-KOPA for more lights, TVs, energy-efficient cooking stoves, smart phones and water tanks. The company has sold well over 160,000 upgrade units to date – including 90,000 Solar TVs.