Babajide Duroshola, ex-country head SafeBoda Nigeria, has been appointed as M-KOPA’s General Manager. His appointment comes as the company plans to expand operations in Nigeria.
Commenting on this appointment to M-KOPA, Duroshola said, “Part of the things that excite me asides from ride-hailing is the credit space. I like asking questions on how to extend credits to people and help them build their digital footprints. That was why M-KOPA seemed attractive.”
In Kenya, M-KOPA is known to have kickstarted the wider pay-as-you-go (PAYG) solar market in the country. Over the last decade, M-KOPA has expanded its offerings to include televisions, fridges, other electronic appliances and financial services for customers in Kenya and Uganda. Through its PAYG financing model, customers can build ownership over time by paying an initial deposit followed by flexible and affordable micro-payments.
So far, M-KOPA has sold more than 1 million PAYG solar systems and provided Ksh. 43 billion ($400 million) in financing to millions of customers while raising over Ksh. 19 billion ($180 million) in equity and debt. Last year, the company added smartphone financing to its offerings in Kenya by partnering with Safaricom and Samsung.
Earlier this year, M-KOPA ran a pilot test in the Nigerian market by providing customers with its solar systems and smartphone financing options. Smartphone financing had a higher uptake as M-KOPA sold over 20,000 devices in Lagos, its first market. The company considered this a success, and the appointment of Duroshola is seen as a prerequisite for scaling the offering rapidly in Nigeria.
M-KOPA is now present in both Lagos and Oyo after expanding to the latter last month. Just like in Kenya, M-KOPA partnered with Samsung, but a different mobile network operator in Airtel, to make its smartphone financing accessible to Nigerian customers.
In his previous position, Duroshola steered the SafeBoda Nigeria team to onboard over 5,000 drivers and complete more than 1.5 million rides in a full year of operation. Although the company is focused on smartphone financing in Nigeria, Duroshola wants to reflect what Kenyan M-KOPA’s customers enjoy.
M-KOPA is currently recruiting for engineering roles in Nigeria and globally as part of its expansion plans. Duroshola will lead operations in Nigeria, in what can be described as his third stint of scaling African startups in the country.