Leading international law firm Herbert Smith Freehills has advised Japan's Sumitomo Corporation on a US$36.5 million investment in M-KOPA's digital finance platform in sub-Saharan Africa.
This is Sumitomo's second investment in M-KOPA and follows the company's strategic alliance with the UK-based Vodafone Group Plc to collaborate on international technology infrastructure.
M-KOPA's fintech platform provides access to productive assets such as smartphones, solar home systems and electric motorbikes to underbanked individuals in Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria and Ghana.
"Sumitomo has a long history of engagement and operations in Africa, and this transaction reflects its recent strategy to increase digital and tech investment in the region," said Tokyo partner Joseph Fisher, who led the team advising Sumitomo.
"The M-KOPA platform enables payments and mobile money for a vast population, and this new investment will enable it to expand into new consumer and trade segments."
The investment also reflects Sumitomo's strategy to target expansion in businesses that also enrich and improve lifestyles and accessibility to trade flows and products for underserved communities.
Joseph was assisted by associate Jarry Tay.