UK-based BBOXX receives funding from Montreal firm MKB

BBOXX, a London, UK-based provider of off-grid solar energy solutions, announced this week it has raised a US$20 million round of financing from a consortium of investors including MacKinnon, Bennett & Company (MKB), ENGIE Rassembleurs d’Energies and KawiSafi Ventures, the Khosla Impact Fund, Bamboo Finance and DOEN Foundation. The investment will support the company’s expanding presence in sub-Saharan Africa.


BBOXX Pursues its Ambitious Growth with Successful $20 Million Fund Raising

Today, BBOXX, a leading global off-grid solar company, successfully closed a $20 million Series C investment. The company has pioneered a distributed energy platform, comprising data-driven technology and a unique solar home system design to deliver off-grid energy on a utility scale. Since 2010, BBOXX has provided off-grid electricity to more than 350,000 people in 35 countries around the world. This latest round of investment is supported by co-investors MacKinnon, Bennett & Company (MKB), ENGIE Rassembleurs d’Energies and KawiSafi Ventures, as well as existing investors Khosla Impact Fund, Bamboo Finance and DOEN Foundation.

The investment will support an expanded presence in the company’s existing markets, Kenya and Rwanda, where BBOXX owns and operates retail distribution networks and after sales service centres to guarantee an excellent customer service experience for all users. The investment will also accelerate the provision of licensed BBOXX products and services in other markets, including the creation of three franchises in the West African countries of Cameroon, Ivory Coast and Nigeria.

“We are excited about the growth potential for the African off-grid solar market and delighted with BBOXX’s rapid development” said Laure Vincotte, Managing Director of ENGIE Rassembleurs d’Energies. “We feel that BBOXX’s technology is fully in line with ENGIE Rassembleurs d’Energies’ objectives of promoting sustainable and scalable energy solutions for all.”

BBOXX is currently building its operational headquarters in Kigali, Rwanda where the company has experienced swift growth. By the end of this year it expects to be electrifying as many households as the Rwandan national grid. With the country’s ambitious goal of electrifying over 20% of the population with off-grid solar systems, BBOXX is well positioned to serve this quickly growing market.

“BBOXX is building the next generation of energy services – connected, distributed, renewable and focused on customer service. We see a strong opportunity for BBOXX’s licensed products and services to act as a foundation for a rapidly growing new sector in the global utility market,” said Patrick Bennett, VP at MKB.

In addition, BBOXX is supported by KawiSafi Ventures, a $100 million private equity fund focused on the off-grid energy sector in East Africa. BBOXX will be the fund’s first investment.

“We have built an innovative, data-powered technology platform for the next generation of distributed utility companies,” said CEO Mansoor Hamayun. “We are thrilled to have ENGIE Rassembleurs d’Energies, KawiSafi Ventures and MKB as our lead investors – it will bring credibility to our industry and much needed scale. We are already deploying systems at the fastest rate in East Africa, at 10kWp of solar per day, and I am excited that we will continue to grow quickly over the next few years.”

About ENGIE Rassembleurs d’Energies

ENGIE Rassembleurs d’Energies is the ENGIE solidarity investment fund that supports projects providing access to sustainable energy for impoverished population groups. The fund’s vocation is to invest in economically viable projects with a social purpose that enjoy the support of social entrepreneurs.

About MacKinnon, Bennett & Co.

MacKinnon, Bennett & Company is a merchant bank based in Montreal, Canada that sources, structures and manages private investments in renewable energy, urban infrastructure services and related sectors for family offices, high net worth individuals, corporate clients and institutional investors.

KawiSafi Ventures Ltd

KawiSafi Ventures is a $100m private equity impact fund anchored by Green Climate Fund and designed to finance enterprises with core business models that address the off-grid solar ecosystems in East Africa to provide universal access to energy to people located beyond the foreseeable grid connection and at the bottom of the economic pyramid. Lack of electricity and high kerosene use will be addressed through affordable clean household solar energy solutions such as solar lanterns, solar home system and solar mini-grids.

About Khosla Impact Fund

Khosla Impact is an early stage tech VC fund supporting disruptive, high impact start-ups across India and Africa.

About Bamboo Finance

Bamboo Finance is a commercial private equity firm specializing in investing in business models that benefit low-income communities in emerging markets with offices in Luxembourg, Geneva, Bogota, Nairobi and Singapore. Bamboo Finance uses a market-oriented approach to deliver social and environmental value and provide attractive financial returns to investors. Bamboo Finance launched in 2007 with a goal to demonstrate that private capital can be profitably deployed as a tool for effective change. Besides its Financial Inclusion Funds and the multi sector Oasis Fund, Bamboo is launching the Bamboo Energy Fund – Solar for All to invest in solar energy companies globally with a geographical focus on Africa. The Fund finances companies across the solar energy supply chain with a particular focus on innovative distribution and financing models for low-income and off-grid markets.

About DOEN Foundation

The DOEN Foundation believes that a green, socially inclusive and creative society is achievable. The world is full of committed entrepreneurs eager to develop sustainable, cultural and socially-engaged initiatives. People who are not afraid to take risks while putting their pioneering ideas into practice. People who inspire others. The DOEN Foundation offers them financial support and brings them together to connect them. DOEN receives its revenues from three Dutch charity lotteries.