Kenya’s KOKO Networks rolls out clean fuel provision service across Nairobi

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Kenyan green and environmental solutions startup KOKO Networks has rolled out it first business line in KOKO Fuel, which uses a range of hardware and software tech to make clean bioethanol fuel more affordable.

Venture-backed tech company KOKO Networks, which has been quietly building over the last few years, rolled out KOKO Fuel late last year, and has seen swift growth over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. It just sold its 50,000th cooker kit in Nairobi since its launch.

KOKO Fuel uses a range of hardware and software tech to undercut dirty cooking fuels like charcoal and kerosene on price, convenience, safety, and environmental impact. It operates with Vivo Energy Kenya, the Shell licensee that supplies clean bioethanol fuel using its liquid fuel infrastructure and then delivers to about 650 “KOKO Point” Fuel ATMs across the city. 

These machines, which KOKO installs inside local convenience stores, are like an e-commerce kiosk with a fuel tank, allowing customers to top-up on clean fuel when required. The company’s chief executive officer (CEO) Greg Murray said its mission was to imagine and deliver technology that transforms lives in the world’s fastest-growing cities, and KOKO Fuel was now doing that for thousands of households in Nairobi.

“COVID-19 has reinforced the importance of healthy lungs and clean air, and the bulk of our growth has occurred during the pandemic. Our team has done an exceptional job of adjusting to the new reality, enabling us to safely operate whilst scaling delivery of this essential solution,” Murray said.

“It is still early days, but we are already over 10 per cent adoption in some Nairobi neighbourhoods, and word is spreading very quickly. It is really heartening to see such a strong response from Nairobi customers, who understand that clean modern cooking is now available to all, and not restricted to the wealthy.”

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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