RMB invests in climate tech firm KOKO to grow its carbon business

File photo of Rand Merchant Bank office.

File photo of Rand Merchant Bank office.

Published Jan 15, 2024


Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) announced on Friday a strategic partnership with climate technology leader Koko, where it has acted as the lead mandated arranger and financier for a pioneering carbon financing solution, to further propel Koko’s climate objectives.

It said in a statement, “In Africa, over 900 million people cooked with polluting fuels like charcoal, directly driving millions of hectares of deforestation and over 600,000 deaths from household air pollution each year, and emitting greenhouse gases that are similar in scale to the global aviation industry. To solve this problem, a continent-wide energy transition to clean and modern fuels is required.”

KOKO was replacing demand for charcoal through supplying over 1.1 million homes with bioethanol cooking fuel distributed through a dense network of hi-tech Koko Fuel ATMs located in thousands of corner stores across urban Kenya. The resultant carbon revenues were shared with households as a non-government energy subsidy, enabling even the poorest households to switch.

Phil Norton, carbon finance lead at RMB, said: “We are proud to partner with KOKO in supporting their continued rapid growth while bringing far more affordable and lower emissions energy to millions of people in Africa. As a pan-African investment bank, this deal fits well within our ambition to build a market leading carbon trading and finance business operating across Africa, serving both existing and new clients.”

Greg Murray, the CEO and co-founder of Koko, said: “We’ve been looking for an entrepreneurial banking partner that understands Africa, climate markets and technology. We are proud to embark on this long-term partnership with RMB to help accelerate the expansion of Koko’s platform across Africa.”