- UK based solar micro grid operator BBOXX has secured a US8 million loan to boost its operations in Rwanda.
- The loan in Rwandan-franc has been provided by the African Development Bank AfDB through its Facility for Energy Inclusion Off-Grid Energy Access Fund (“FEI OGEF”).
- Rwanda is BBOXX’S biggest market, with more than 80,000 off-grid solar home systems installed.
The BBOXX business model involves customers paying for solar systems on a pay-as-you-go basis, depending on how much energy is used, currency fluctuations over many years can have negative impacts on the supplier’s balance sheet. Receiving a loan in domestic currency lowered Bboxx’s medium-term foreign exchange risks, said the U.K. company.
Earlier this year BBOXX secured a US 31 million loan from Africa Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM) to grow its Rwanda operations, alongside its expansion into Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
FEI OGEF is a US$100 million blended finance debt fund managed by LHGP Asset Management, the asset management arm of Lion’s Head Group.
Harry Guinness, managing director at Lion’s Head and OGEF Fund Manager, said: “BBOXX has invested in the team, products, and infrastructure needed to achieve scale. With this transaction, FEI OGEF provides efficient, sustainable and scalable capital to catalyse the next stage of BBOXX’s growth in Rwanda and beyond.”
Mansoor Hamayun, CEO and co-founder of BBOXX, said: “We are thrilled to have secured this loan from FEI OGEF to turbocharge our roll-out of solar home systems across Rwanda. It will help us to advance our goal of transforming lives and unlocking economic potential through access to energy.
“With substantial operations in Rwanda already, this deal demonstrates confidence in our business model and our ability to scale and deliver much-needed reliable and affordable electricity, as the entry point to all other modern utilities.”
Author: Bryan Groenendaal