Solar and asset financing company M-Kopa has announced the successful acquisition of Sh35 billion ($255 million) in financing from various sources, including Standard Bank and Sumitomo Corporation, to support its expansion efforts in sub-Saharan Africa.

On Monday, M-Kopa revealed that this capital injection comprises Sh7.5 billion ($55 million) in equity and Sh27.4 billion ($200 million) in debt, making it the largest funding ever secured by a Kenyan start-up.

M-Kopa was established in 2011 as per the information we have and operates a financing platform that enables underserved customers to access a wide range of products and services without the need for collateral or a guarantor. It employs a flexible payment model to ensure affordability.

Jesse Moore, CEO and Co-Founder of M-KOPA Solar, expressed his satisfaction with the support received from both existing and new investors, emphasizing their shared vision and commitment to building a sustainable business while bridging economic and digital gender disparities.

The funding round was led by Standard Bank, which extended $200 million in sustainability-linked debt financing. Sumitomo Corporation also contributed $36.5 million in fresh equity investment.

In addition to these major players, UK-based investment firm Lightrock participated in the fund-raising effort, according to M-Kopa.

Nick Riley, Manager of Standard Bank’s Corporate Financing Solutions, praised M-KOPA’s positive impact in enabling access to power and smartphone connectivity, which he views as essential elements for the economic empowerment of individuals.

M-Kopa operates in Kenya and has expanded its operations to Uganda, Nigeria, and Ghana. As of now, the company has given out credit amounting to approximately Sh137 billion ($1 billion) to over 3 million customers in the region. The firm has enabled some of us to purchase items such as smartphones, solar power systems, as well as health insurance.

In the past couple of years, the firm managed to raise billions of shillings to support it’s expansion plans, with $75 million secured in March of the previous year alone. Since its inception, the company has received over Sh22 billion from investors through more than 16 funding rounds, fueling the growth of its asset finance business, which enables customers to make installment payments for green energy products.

Kenya’s rural areas have seen a surge in off-grid solar power start-ups that are all queueing up to have a cake from those of us who do not have access to reliable electricity, or just cannot afford it. Among M-Kopa’s competitors in the pay-as-you-go asset financing space are Solar Panda, D.Light, Greenlight Planet, Aspira, Bboxx, Azuri, Biolite, Daima Energy, Delta Energy Systems Ltd, Kensen, Mobisol, PowerGen, Solargen, Sunking, Suntech, ZilanSolar, Thrivesolar, Ofgen, Strauss Energy, and ORB Energy.