- EDF takes a 23% stake in Bboxx’s Kenya operations, building on Bboxx and EDF’s successful joint venture in Togo, launched in 2018
- Bboxx and current investor AIIM are also ramping up investment in Bboxx Kenya to turbocharge the growth of Bboxx’s largest market
- The investment will accelerate clean energy provision to over two million people in Kenya
Thursday 25th February 2021 – 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. Together, they aim to provide access to clean, reliable and affordable and CO2-free energy to over 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 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 USD 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, commented: “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.
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.”
Bboxx is a next generation utility, transforming lives and unlocking potential through access to energy. Bboxx manufactures, distributes and finances decentralised solar powered systems in developing countries. It is scaling through forging strategic partnerships and its innovative technology Bboxx Pulse®, a comprehensive management platform using IoT technology. Through affordable, reliable, and clean utility provision, Bboxx is bringing people into the digital economy, creating new markets, and enabling economic development in off-grid communities and those living without a reliable grid connection. The company is positively impacting the lives of more than one million people with its products and services in over 35 markets, directly contributing to 11 of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
So far, Bboxx has deployed more than 350,000 solar home systems. Bboxx has over 800 staff across nine offices including in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, and Togo, with its head office in the UK and its manufacturing operations in China. In 2019, Bboxx was the winner of the Zayed Sustainability Prize in the Energy category – testament to the way the company is making a meaningful difference to people’s lives around the world.
A key player in energy transition, the EDF Group is an integrated electricity company, active in all areas of the business: generation, transmission, distribution, energy supply and trading, energy services. A global leader in low-carbon energies, the Group has developed a diversified generation mix based on nuclear power, hydropower, new renewable energies and thermal energy. The Group is involved in supplying energy and services to approximately 37.9 million customers (1), 28.1 million of which are in France. It generated consolidated sales of €69 billion in 2020. EDF is listed on the Paris Stock Exchange.
(1) Customers are counted since 2018 per delivery site; a customer can have two delivery points: one for electricity and another for gas
AIIM is a member of Old Mutual Alternative Investments (OMAI) and has been investing in the African infrastructure sector since 1999 with a track record extending across seven African infrastructure funds. AIIM’s team of 41 investment professionals is based out of five offices across the continent in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Nairobi, Lagos and Abidjan.
AIIM manages private equity funds which structure and invest in the financing of infrastructure projects and companies across the continent. AIIM currently manages USD1.6 billion in assets across the power, telecommunications, energy and transport sectors with operations in 19 countries throughout the continent. AIIM is one of the largest private investors in the power sector with power portfolio extending across renewable energy and thermal power assets with a combined generation capacity of over 2,800 MW.