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Kenyan climate startup, KOKO, gets backing from Rand Merchant Bank

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KOKO, a startup focused on providing clean cooking energy, has received investment from Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) to grow its renewable bioethanol fuel model across Africa.

KOKO provides a replacement for charcoal and kerosene in informal settlements through a micro-distribution network of fuel ATMs. Customers can access affordable ethanol canisters for cooking via ATMs located in local shops.

To date, the startup says it serves 1.1 million households with bioethanol in Kenya, and aims to expand this pay-as-you-go fuel concept to curb dangerous reliance on polluting solid fuels.

KOKO also generates carbon credits by displacing fossil fuel use and shares the revenues to subsidy fuel costs.

We’re proud to partner with RMB to accelerate expansion of our platform across Africa,” KOKO CEO, Greg Murray, said.

Read also: African eyewear startup, Lapaire, raises $3m to drive expansion across the continent

RMB previously financed KOKO’s pioneering carbon projects and now directly invests in the climate tech firm to spur growth. The bank supports the startup’s mission to deliver cleaner, modern cooking solutions.

Reports have it that indoor air pollution from charcoal causes over 600,000 deaths annually in Africa. KOKO’s alternative model attempts to address this through accessible, low-emission ethanol.

This aligns with our ambition to build a leading carbon finance business in Africa,” said RMB’s Phil Norton.

The funding comes as carbon trading gains momentum worldwide. Africa stands to benefit through such financing that enables sustainable development.

KOKO represents an innovative carbon-conscious startup drawing impact investment for scale. Its renewable fuel dispensing aims to displace unhealthy solid fuels across the continent.

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When I'm not reading about tech, I'm writing about it, or thinking about the next weird food combinations to try. I do all these with my headphones plugged in, and a sticky note on my computer with the words: "The galaxy needs saving, Star Lord."
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