- Qotto, a cleantech startup, has raised $8 million in a Series A equity-debt round to scale the company in its current markets.
- It also plans to expand to Ivory Coast, where it plans to launch operations by March 2023.
- The IBL group led the round, while Off-Grid Energy Access Fund (FEI-OGEF), Cordaid, and a few existing investors participated.
Founded in 2016, the company produces and distributes standalone solar kits and lanterns to people living in Africa's least electrified areas.
Qotto provides its products to people in Sub-Saharan Africa who are off-grid because of underdeveloped national power grids through a pay-to-own model.
On its expansion to Ivory Coast, Jean-Baptiste Lenoir, Co-Founder and President, says, “For Ivory Coast, due to its consistent pace of development relative to the broader West Africa region, and after having tested and optimised operations and services in Benin and Burkina Faso, Qotto is well prepared for a market entry.”
He also says that customers who have had the opportunity to test Qotto products in the nation have also expressed a need for and a desire for Qotto to enter the Ivory Coast market.
Following a partnership and an agreement to provide off-grid solutions in the region, Qotto reports that IBL is also developing its expansion plan for East Africa.
By September 2023, the expansion will coincide with IBL's plans to "strengthen its position in East Africa and to develop its exposure to renewable energies."
The expansion bid follows Qotto's announcement of plans to launch several new products, including internet hotspots, micro-insurance, micro-credit, micro-savings products, and other essential services.
What's more, the company plans to place its internet hotspots in busy places, including stores, eateries, and bars.
According to Qotto, its revenue has increased by 50% year over year. As of the end of last year, it had 11,000 active customers, and if its growth plans come to fruition, it expects that number to more than double by the end of this year.