A customer needs a loan for a rooftop solar-­power system. But she makes less than $2 a day, has no credit history, and no collateral. For M-Kopa, that’s no problem. The Kenya-based financing platform offers underbanked African customers pay-as-you-go access to anything from e-bikes to fuel-­efficient stoves and smartphones. The terms: daily loan repayments of just a few cents, via mobile phone. M-Kopa now has a presence across the continent and just raised $250 million in debt and equity—one of the largest fundraisings by an African tech startup. “If you treat low-­income people as customers, not charity cases,” says co-founder and CEO Jesse Moore, “you can change the world.”
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