Solar Solutions Provider BBOXX Raises $6.78 Million Through Crowdfunding

BBOXX, an off-grid clean energy technology provider, has announced that its funding initiative has reached the €6 million (~$6.78 million) mark.

BBOXX was assisted by Trine, a company that helps finance solar energy projects through crowdfunding. The collaboration between the two companies aims to accelerate BBOXX’s installation of pay-as-you-go solar home systems in Kenya, Rwanda, Togo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, Senegal, and Guinea. These solar systems are expected to positively impact the lives of over 200,000 underserved people in these countries.

BBOXX will utilize this investment to reach out to customers in its distribution mix. The company will focus on unlocking the potential of households, communities, and SMEs across rural and urban regions.

BBOXX has secured the funding through six €1 million (~$1.13 million) rounds over the last 12 months. Trine and BBOXX launched the first of these six funding rounds in February 2018 and reached their first €1 million target one month later. Repayments from the loans have also started to go out to investors in the first rounds of these loans to BBOXX – with expected nominal interest rates of 6.75 percent on investments up to €1,000 (~$1,130), a bonus rate of 8.75 percent on investments of €1,000 or more, and a bonus rate of 11 percent on investments of €50,000 (~$56,537) or more.

Mansoor Hamayun, CEO and co-founder of BBOXX, commented on the development saying, “Hundreds of millions of people in Africa still live without electricity. Collaborating with Trine has allowed us to tap into retail investors who share our vision for transforming people’s lives through sustainable energy provision. Crowdfunding can change the way the solar industry is financed as well as putting pressure on existing investors in the space to adapt their business models – both of which will be beneficial for customers”.

Sam Manaberi, CEO and co-founder of Trine, said, “We’ve witnessed unprecedented demand from retail investors who want to invest sustainably in solar energy in growing markets, for example, Africa. Trine has also shown that having a positive impact on climate change can be met with competitive returns on investment. Crowdfunding is a useful low-cost, flexible type of finance that allows high-growth businesses like BBOXX to scale.”

The €6 million debt has been raised in Europe through more than 4,400 investors. Individual investments varied from as little as €25 (~$28.27) to €600 (~$678).

In January 2019, Mercom reported on the news of Africa Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM), through its AIIF3 fund, investing $31 million for a minority stake in BBOXX.

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

Image credit: BBOXX

Shaurya Bajaj is a staff reporter for Mercomindia.com.