BBOXX secures $15m funding for Africa solar ventures


London-based solar systems provider BBOXX – which designs, builds, distributes and finances solar systems for Africa and other parts of the developing world – has secured a further round of funding that will enable it to increase its solar efforts in Africa.

The British solar provider has raised $15 million via a series of equity investments and debt funding into the company from a wide range of investors, including DOEN Foundation, Synergy Energy, Bamboo Finance, Ceniarth, Khosla Impact Fund and new backers ENGIE Rassembleurs d’Energies and MacKinnon, Bennett & Co.

A portion of the funding will be used as scalable working capital, and $500,000 – provided via a securitization deal with social investor Oikocredit – will finance home solar systems in Africa via Distributed Energy Asset Receivables (DEARs), the first such securitization deal of its kind seen in Africa.

In closing this securitization, BBOXX will be able to realize income from the solar payment plan sales model that it has introduced in Africa three years ahead of schedule. The additional monies also free up investments for the production of more home solar systems, thus ensuring more families and households in Africa can receive affordable solar power.

"This latest round of funding, in particular the ground-breaking securitization deal with Oikocredit, means that we can now rapidly scale-up our business model and roll-out BBOXX across our key regions in Rwanda and Kenya," said BBOXX CEO Mansoor Hamayun.

Oikocredit renewable energy manager David ten Kroode added that by demonstrating how securitization can be used to finance home solar systems in Africa, other lenders can hopefully follow suit in order to scale-up the level of investment in Africa’s energy landscape to the levels required to lift millions out of energy poverty.

"This deal also supports our mission of improving the lives of low income people by giving them access to clean energy," ten Kroode said.