Bboxx, a next generation utility, and EDF, a global leader in low-carbon energies, are strengthening their partnership as EDF becomes a shareholder in Bboxx Kenya.
Bboxx Shop in Katito, Kenya (Courtesy of Bboxx)
Together, they aim to provide access to clean, reliable and affordable and CO2-free energy to over 2 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 will 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 $31 million 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. Bboxx and EDF have worked on various innovative projects in Togo, including launching Tomorrow’s Connected Community where an entire Togolese village is powered by solar energy.
This investment will 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.”
“Despite the Covid-19 environment, this announcement underlines the robustness of our business model and confidence in our tools to build back better. We look forward to growing together and developing new partnership opportunities to unlock potential and transform millions of lives.”
Valerie Levkov, EDF's Senior Vice President Africa, Middle East and Eastern Mediterranean Division, said, “At EDF, we are excited to build on our existing partnership with Bboxx to further ramp up our common activities in the field of off-grid developpement in several African countries. We are very happy to work with such a like-minded partner who shares our commitment to building a low-carbon future. We take pride in creating synergies between our various partners in Kenya in support of the country’s growth. Our expansion on the Kenyan market is part of our CAP 2030 strategic goal of tripling our activities at the international level.”