UK solar company invests in Africa's domestic solar energy market

- Finance - Dec 17, 2015

UK-based solar energy provider BBOXX has completed a significant funding round of roughly $15 million which will accelerate the company’s vision to improve access to energy across the continent as well as in other areas in the developing world.

This latest round of funding means that BBOXX will have secured a total of $9.8 million in equity investment and $5.3 million in debt funding in 2015, including a scalable working capital facility. This has been contributed to by existing investors DOEN Foundation, Bamboo Finance, Ceniarth, Khosla Impact Fund and Synergy Energy, as well as new backers ENGIE Rassembleurs d’Energies and MacKinnon, Bennett & Co.

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BBOXX has secured a landmark $500,000 securitisation deal with Oikocredit, a social investor and worldwide cooperative providing loans and equity to enterprises with in low income countries. This is the industry’s first ever deal – called Distributed Energy Asset Receivables (DEARs) - that uses securitisation as a means of financing solar home systems in Africa. 

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The securitisation will allow BBOXX to realise income from its payment plan sales model up to three years earlier, and with the additional investment allows the company to produce more solar home systems and therefore bring power to more households living without grid electricity. Persistent Energy Capital acted as financial advisors in the DEARs transaction.

Mansoor Hamayun, CEO of BBOXX, said: “BBOXX started out with a vision to bring affordable, low carbon energy to the developing world using a data driven business model.  2015 has seen us take great strides in making that vision a reality, and this latest round of funding, in particular the ground-breaking securitisation 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.  2016 will be an incredibly exciting year for BBOXX – watch this space!”

David ten Kroode, Renewable Energy Manager at Oikocredit, said: “We are proud to be part of this innovative way of financing. By demonstrating how securitisation can be used to finance home solar systems, we pave the way for other lenders to scale up the much needed investments in this early stage growth sector. This deal also supports our mission of improving the lives of low income people by giving them access to clean energy.”

BBOXX aims to access local capital markets with rated notes later in 2016, extending its securitisation facility. Launching a rated, local currency note program will allow BBOXX to attract institutional investors in Kenya both as private placement opportunities and also listing the notes on the Kenyan exchange.  The company has already sold over 55,000 units.

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