Kenya-based financing platform M-KOPA has raised $255m in debt and equity capital to fund its expansion across Sub-Saharan Africa.
Standard Bank led and arranged $200m in sustainability-linked debt financing, and Sumitomo Corporation led the $55m equity investment.
Other investors include International Finance Corporation, Lendable and Blue Haven Initiative.
Founded in 2010, M-KOPA has issued more than $1b in credit to 3m customers, to buy items such as smartphones, motorcycles and health insurance.
For example, a customer can pay a deposit to buy a smartphone, which can be repaid in micropayments, so they can own their own phone while building a credit score with M-KOPA and gaining access to a wider range of its products and services.
The company started in Kenya, and has expanded to Uganda, Nigeria and Ghana, to serve underbanked customers.
Jesse Moore, chief executive officer and co-founder of M-KOPA, said in a LinkedIn post: “It is amazing to step back and appreciate the acceleration of M-KOPA’s impact over the past decade: it took us 8 years to reach 1m customers, 1.5 years to reach 2m and just over a year to hit the 3m mark.
“This is not the easiest year to scale in our operating markets, with high inflation levels and currency devaluation making things challenging for our customers and sales representatives. But the team remain committed and are persevering despite the headwinds.”