Herbert Smith Freehills Advised Sumitomo Corporation on Fintech Investment Targeting Underbanked African Communities
Herbert Smith Freehills, a prominent global law firm, has provided legal counsel to Sumitomo Corporation of Japan in its $36.5 million investment in M-KOPA's Digital Finance platform operating in sub-Saharan Africa.
Sumitomo Corporation's recent $36.5 million investment in M-KOPA's Digital Finance platform marks its second investment in the company. This move comes after Sumitomo's strategic alliance with the UK-based Vodafone Group Plc, focusing on collaborative efforts in the field of international technology infrastructure.
M-KOPA's fintech platform serves as a gateway for underbanked individuals in several African countries such as Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, and Ghana, providing them with access to essential assets like smartphones, solar home systems, and electric motorbikes.
Joseph Fisher, the Tokyo partner at Sumitomo Corporation, who led the advisory team, highlighted that Sumitomo has a longstanding involvement and business presence in Africa.
“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,” Fisher said.
He was supported by associate Jarry Tay in the advisory team.
This investment by Sumitomo Corporation aligns with its strategic objective of pursuing expansion in businesses that not only enhance lifestyles but also improve accessibility to trade flows and products for underserved communities.