KOKO Networks, a venture-backed tech startup, has begun installing automated machines within many retail outlets within Nairobi, that allow customers to fill up their cooking gas cylinders.
The firm is delivering this product in partnership with Vivo Energy Kenya, the Shell licensee that supplies this clean bioethanol fuel using its liquid fuel infrastructure and then delivers to about 650 “KOKO Point” Fuel ATMs across the city.
The firm, which has been quietly building up its network since launching last year, has so far sold more than 50,000 cooker kits in Nairobi.
The firm uses a series of hardware and software tools that enables it to deliver gas that is much cheaper than charcoal or kerosene. This is in addition to providing convenience, safety and minimal environmental impact.
These automated machines, which KOKO installs inside local convenience stores, are basically fuel tanks that allow clients to top-up on clean fuel when required.
The Company’s CEO Greg Murray said its mission was to imagine and deliver technology that transforms lives in the world’s fastest-growing cities such as Nairobi.
KOKO says COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced the importance of healthy lungs and clean air, adding popularity to its cooking gas.
The firm has been riding on its popular product to scale up delivery to more clients.
While it is still early days, KOKO has expressed optimism that with the firm already securing 10% of the cooking gas market in some neighbourhoods and word is spreading out very quickly; its growth prospects remain bright.
Latest figures from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics(2019) indicate that firewood is still the most commonly used type of cooking fuel reported by 55.1 per cent of the households followed by Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) at 23.9 per cent.