African-Focus Cleantech Startup, Qotto Gets $8M to Expand

African-Focus Cleantech Startup, Qotto Gets $8M to Expand

Qotto, a French-based, African-focus cleantech startup, has raised $8 million in Series A funding to expand its operations in Burkina Faso, Benin, and enter into Côte d’Ivoire. The funding was led by IBL Group, with The Off-Grid Energy Access Fund (FEI-OGEF), Cordaid, and its existing investors participating in the round.

Jean-Baptiste Lenoir and Fabrice de Gaudemaus co-founded Qotto in 2016, specializing in the creation and distribution of standalone solar kits and lanterns to people living in Africa’s most underdeveloped and unserved regions. The startup equally makes its products available to those in Sub-Saharan Africa who do not have access to the national power grid by using a pay-to-own model. Some of its current products include the Qotto Light kit, which consists of a panel, a battery, and USB ports to charge mobile phones, and the Qotto TV kit, which consists of a panel, a battery, and USB ports to charge mobile phones.

Furthermore, Qotto, which sees yearly revenue increase by 50% in 2022 with over 11,000 active clients, aims to more than double this number by the end of the current year, driven by its growth strategy such as the expansion of operations, which is a significant step towards solving Sub-Saharan Africa’s energy crisis. 650 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa do not have access to electricity, according to Jean-Baptiste Lenoir. This is a significant issue that contributes to the region’s poverty and underdevelopment. Qotto is poised to help solve this problem by providing affordable, clean energy to people in the region as its operations expand.

Qotto Adopts Pay-to-Own Model to Drive Energy Inclusion

The startup’s pay-to-own approach is also a significant advantage in solving the energy crisis in the region. Many people in Sub-Saharan Africa lack the financial means to purchase expensive solar panels or to connect to the national power grid. Qotto’s pay-to-own approach allows people to pay for solar kits and lanterns in installments, making it more affordable and accessible. This approach is already working in Burkina Faso and Benin, and Qotto plans to replicate this success in Côte d’Ivoire and other parts of the region.

In addition to providing affordable, clean energy, Qotto is also looking to provide other essential services, such as financial services and internet access hotspots. This is an important development as many people in the region lack access to financial services and the internet. Qotto’s financial services, such as micro-insurance, micro-credit, and micro-savings offerings, will be developed in partnership with companies such as SUNU, a leading insurer in West Africa. Qotto has already sold thousands of life insurance policies and plans to expand its financial services offerings. The internet hotspots will be situated in busy locations, such as shops, restaurants, or bars, where there is high foot traffic. This will allow people to connect to the internet and access important information and services.

Qotto’s expansion into East Africa, alongside IBL, is also a significant step towards solving the energy crisis in the region. With its pay-to-own approach, Qotto is poised to make a significant impact in East Africa, where many people lack access to electricity. Qotto’s expansion into the region will also create jobs; contribute to economic development and improve the lives of millions of people.