BlackRock Real Assets Power and Energy Infrastructure Fund Raises $1.5 Billion

BBOXX, an affordable clean energy solutions provider to off-grid communities in Africa, has announced that Africa Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM), through its AIIF3 fund, is investing $31 million for a minority stake in the company.

BBOXX has expanded its footprints in Rwanda, Kenya, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). This investment is expected to help the roll-out of BBOXX’s solar plus storage systems, which are available on a pay-as-you-go basis via mobile money.

The funds will be applied across BBOXX’s distribution mix and aim to positively impact a range of customers including households, schools and SMEs across rural, urban and peri-urban regions.

According to Mercom Solar Funding and M&A Tracker, BOXX has raised $66.9 million through six venture capital funding deals so far, including this deal.



Mansoor Hamayun, CEO and co-founder of BBOXX, said, “AIIM’s investment will turbo-charge our operations in Rwanda, Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo. This will allow us to scale rapidly and continue to drive disaggregation in what has traditionally been a vertically integrated market. We look forward to working together to power economic growth and transform the lives of underserved communities, by creating a platform which will bring access to affordable utility provision and value-added services.”

AIIM is one of Africa’s largest infrastructure-focused private equity fund manager and a member of Old Mutual Alternative Investments with $2.1 billion assets under management.

This AIIM investment is the latest in a string of deals that has seen BBOXX forge strategic partnerships across the industry, with the likes of companies such as EDF and Orange. BBOXX claims to have brought electricity to 750,000 people in frontier markets, with substantial operations in countries including, Rwanda, Kenya, Togo, the DRC, Nigeria and Pakistan.

In September 2018, Mercom reported when BBOXX and General Electric launched a partnership to provide energy access for small businesses, schools and other organisations in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Then in March 2018, the African country of Togo received a significant boost in the form of $4 million in funding to further the development an energy access drive dubbed the Cizo initiative. The capital was provided to BBOXX, working to provide energy access to rural communities across Togo. BBOXX was awarded a contract to work with the Togo government to set up 300,000 of its solar home systems across the country by 2022.

Recently, in a report published by the Global Off-Grid Lighting Association (GOGLA), in association with Altai Consulting, the impact and the benefits of off-grid solar home systems (SHS) in improving the quality of life was highlighted. According to the research, access to light and power have increased the working hours as they can spend more time at work. It has allowed 44 percent of users to be more flexible with their daily activities. These extra work hours have helped in making on an average an additional $25 per month.