AFRICA – KOKO Networks, an international venture-backed technology company, has announced that the Microsoft Climate Innovation Fund has concluded an equity investment in conjunction with a group of venture capital and family office investors.
“Charcoal is wiping out Africa’s forests. Switching urban households to sustainable cooking fuel is one of the few levers for actually stopping deforestation, rather than just talking about it,” Greg Murray, CEO of KOKO, commented.
“We are building a new industry, and mission-aligned capital is a key building block. Microsoft is walking the talk, in both their climate-tech and carbon removal investments. We are proud to have them join our platform.”
KOKO operates a proprietary climate-tech platform for the low-cost delivery of bioethanol cooking fuel, to replace dirty cooking fuels such as deforestation-based charcoal which dominates the US$47 billion market for African cooking fuel.
The platform has been proven at scale in Kenya, with over 415,000 household subscribers joining since commercial launch in late 2019, including over 500% growth in the last 12 months.
“The Microsoft Climate Innovation Fund is committed to investing in technologies and solutions that conserve natural resources and promote climate equity,” Mark Kroese, General Manager, Sustainability Solutions, at Microsoft commented.
“KOKO’s solution is replacing demand for deforestation-based commodities with sustainable alternatives, and we are excited to support KOKO as they expand access to low-cost, clean cooking solutions in Africa.”
KOKO partnered with Dalberg, a global group working to build a more inclusive and sustainable world, to establish KOKO Rwanda, in order to develop a nation-wide Network that will enable convenient clean fuel access for all Rwandans.
KOKO Rwanda will deliver the technology, capital and expertise to build and operate a nation-wide Network, leveraging private climate finance of US$25 million to create 500 direct jobs and new income streams for thousands of small business partners.