East Africa

UK start-up BBOXX raises $3M to lead solar revolution in Africa

Bboxx monthly pay-as-you-go solar panel systems and solar-powered lights and electronics raises $3M series B fundingThe brainchild of three Electrical and Electronic Engineering graduates from Imperial College London, BBOXX a UK start-up delivering clean energy supply in the developing world has just announced new investment.

To date, BBOXX has reached over 50,000 customers with rooftop Solar Home Systems and their vision is to provide 20 million people with electricity by 2020. “By offering an on-grid experience to customers who have no access to the electric grid, BBOXX aims to lead the solar revolution in Africa,” says Mansoor Hamayun, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, BBOXX. Through a vast network of shops and a consumer financing model for their solar systems, BBOXX provides access to electricity to the mass market and hundreds of jobs to local employees.

Bamboo Finance, a global private equity group specializing in investing in business models that benefit low-income communities in frontier markets, along with the DOEN Foundation, a Dutch fund whose mission is to support a green, socially inclusive and creative society, announced a Series B investment in BBOXX of US$3 million.

“Distributed energy is the best and most cost effective solution for off-grid markets and consumer financing solves a critical missing link in the distributed energy supply chain in off-grid markets. BBOXX removes a critical barrier to reaching low-income communities,” said Christian Schattenmann, Bamboo Energy Fund Manager. “BBOXX, with its vertically integrated operations, proprietary monitoring technology and deep understanding of rural markets is uniquely positioned to scale rapidly and profitably. We are proud to partner with BBOXX and support the expansion of BBOXX across Africa and developing countries,” added Schattenmann.

“We are excited to add Bamboo Finance to our investor base alongside Khosla Impact, Ceniarth and Synergy,” said BBOXX’s Hamayun. “We know we’ll benefit from Bamboo Finance’s extensive experience with financial inclusion and off-grid energy as we move towards fulfilling our ambition of large-scale electrification.”

Nina Tellegen, CEO of the DOEN Foundation: “We see the urgent need for a large scale fund in underserved markets to invest in solar companies after the start-up phase. The investment strategy of the Bamboo Energy Fund – Solar For All was convincing and strong, that’s why we decided to invest. By providing seed capital to make the investment in BBOXX, a valuable synergy with our activities through our Sustainable Energy Program is created, providing a potential sustainable impact on the solar energy market. DOEN is the first investor to commit in the Bamboo Energy Fund and will therefore send a strong signal to potential investors and the sector in general.”

In only five short years, BBOXX is already revolutionising clean energy supply in the developing world with networks in Kenya, RD Congo, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Sudan, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Comoros, Zambia, Somalia and Pakistan.

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