Qotto, a Burkina Faso and Benin-based solar kit provider, has secured $8 million in a Series A equity-debt transaction sponsored by the IBL Group, a billion-dollar Mauritius-based conglomerate.
Qotto, founded in 2016, uses a pay-to-own approach to supply stand-alone solar kits and lamps to persons in Africa’s least electrified regions. The company has had consistent growth, with revenue increasing by 50% yearly and 11,000 active clients by the end of last year.
In addition to banking services, Qotto intends to provide internet access hotspots in high-traffic regions. In sub-Saharan Africa, 650 million people don’t have access to electricity, 550 don’t have access to the internet, and 800 million don’t have access to financial services. Qotto’s goal is to solve all of these crucial problems simultaneously with its “essential services” and technology.
The Mauritius-based IBL group led the funding round, and the Off-Grid Energy Access Fund (FEI-OGEF), Cordaid, and Qotto’s existing investors also participated. Qotto plans to use the money to grow in its current markets and to start doing business in Ivory Coast next month.
Qotto says that its move into Ivory Coast was driven by customer demand. The company is ready to keep growing with new products and services like micro-insurance, micro-credit, and micro-savings.
The company says that being in rural areas helps it understand what customers want and develop new products that align with the Sustainable Development Goals.