Bboxx and EDF ramp up partnership to expand in Kenya

Bboxx Shop in Katito Kenya credit BboxxBboxx, a next generation utility, and EDF are strengthening their partnership as EDF becomes a shareholder in Bboxx Kenya, a move that aims to provide access to clean, reliable and CO2-free energy to more than two million Kenyans with solar home systems by 2025

Under the terms of the agreement, EDF takes a 23% stake in Bboxx Kenya. In addition to the equity investment, EDF will bring its commercial resources and its experience from developing off-grid solutions in several African countries. 

EDF’s investment in Bboxx’s Kenya operations is expected to accelerate expansion into what is currently Bboxx’s largest market. Bboxx manufactures, distributes and finances decentralised solar powered systems in developing countries and has been operating in Kenya since 2011. To date, it has positively impacted the lives of 500,000 individuals, rural households, communities and SMEs across Kenya.

The Kenyan market represents a major growth opportunity for Bboxx and its partners. Throughout the pandemic, Bboxx’s business model has been resilient, with plans to ramp up shop openings across the country to meet growing consumer demand. As a result, Bboxx and current shareholder African Infrastructure Investment Fund 3 (AIIF3), a fund managed by Africa Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM), are contributing further investment in Bboxx Kenya. This builds on momentum from the US$31mn investment from AIIM in Bboxx’s Kenya, Rwanda and DRC operations in 2019. 

This latest step in Bboxx and EDF’s relationship follows the 50% joint venture deal between Bboxx and EDF in Togo, launched in 2018. They recently doubled down on their partnership in Togo, moving beyond Solar Home Systems (SHS) to also include solar-powered irrigation systems for sustainable farming with partners like SunCulture. 

This investment is set to turbo-charge the roll-out of Bboxx’s Solar Home Systems (SHS) available to customers on a pay-as-you-go (PAYG) basis using mobile money. Bboxx’s comprehensive management platform Bboxx Pulse, powered by Internet of Things (IoT) technology, enables remote management and monitoring. This means the company can scale access to clean energy across vast locations.

Mansoor Hamayun, CEO and co-founder of Bboxx, commented, “Expanding our strong partnership with EDF after success in our Togo joint venture demonstrates our commitment to scale and expand access to essential off-grid solar energy. By forging strategic partnerships with major global firms, we can mobilise substantial investment to accelerate progress towards UN’s SDG 7 – clean energy for all.”

Ashwin West, investment director at AIIM, added, “We are excited to be working with EDF in the off-grid energy sector, supporting our shared goal of providing clean, affordable energy to two million Kenyans by 2025. Leveraging accessible technology through strategic partnerships also allows us to bring productive inputs to many and create lasting, impactful change.”

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