UK solar start-up scores $50 million expansion boost


UK and Togo-based solar energy start-up BBOX, which supplies pay-as-you-go solar systems in various African countries, has secured $50 million in funding from Mitsubishi.

The Japanese giant’s investment will help boost BBOX’s expansion into South Asia, as well as further into Africa. At present, the company operates and monitors 200,000 off-grid solar systems in 12 African countries, including Togo, Kenya, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

French utility EDF bought a 50% stake in the company’s Togo operations earlier this year.

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The company’s pay-as-you-go (PAYG) model bills customers’ monthly for the use of mini solar panels and ultra-efficient lighting. Customers are able to either keep their existing equipment on completion of an average two-year contract or upgrade systems under a new contract.

Mansoor Hamayun, CEO of BBOXX, said: “The funding is further evidence of Japanese interest in Africa and in PAYG solar energy globally. Mitsubishi Corporation’s extensive reach, sector-specific and technological expertise will help us to reach more people without reliable access to modern utilities and services at even greater scale.

“We look forward to this next phase of growth that will help us to transform more lives, unlock potential and grow our already global footprint by opening up new markets and develop further our product range.”

Other investors in the start-up’s investment round include ENGIE Rassembleurs d’Energies, Bamboo Capital Partners, DOEN Participaties and MacKinnon, Bennett & Company.