For Greg Murray, the priorities are utility, autonomy and adventure.
“We all want to look back when we’re old and gray and feel that we bent the curve on something,” he says. “That we imagined and delivered useful outcomes to people and created impact. And that the journey was adventurous, full of twists and turns.”
With this ethos as his compass, he co-founded KOKO Networks, a Kenyan-based climate-tech company tackling deforestation and carbon emissions caused by using charcoal as cooking fuel in urban homes.
According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), nearly 4 million hectares of African forests are being cut down each year, at almost double the speed of the world’s deforestation average.
KOKO offers a suite of distribution, dispensing, and end-use technologies that shift consumer behavior away from dirty fuel and deforestation tactics: The KOKO Cooker, designed in partnership with urban families, uses liquid bioethanol as a faster, safer and more affordable charcoal alternative. The cookers use Smart Canisters that consumers can refill — for the exact amount they need — at one of 2,000 high-tech fuel ATMs called “KOKO points” using mobile money. Intended to be just a short walk for anyone who needs fuel, currently KOKO Points serve 860,000 households across five cities in Kenya. A fleet of 55 smart micro tankers keeps KOKO points stocked, and all of this infrastructure is managed by the KOKO Cloud, which tracks the flows of money, fuel, carbon and data.
What’s more, KOKO also sells high-quality carbon credits into global compliance and voluntary markets and uses that revenue to lower energy bills for consumers and expand the reach of their network infrastructure.
KOKO reduces more than 4 million tons of carbon emissions annually and has delivered more than USD100 million of carbon value into the wallets of its Kenyan residential customers. Murray’s goal is to expand KOKO’s operations in Africa, as well as Southeast Asia and Latin America.
Murray is also Co-Founder and Managing Partner of CleanStar Ventures, an investment holding company established in 2007, which established and invested in ventures in Africa, India, Brazil and Australia.