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    Friday, December 8, 2023

    Kenyan e-Bus Startup BasiGo Secures $5m Debt Facility to Scale Local Production

    Kenyan electric bus solutions startup BasiGo has secured a US$5 million debt facility from British International Investment (BII), the UK’s development finance organisation, for delivery of 100 locally-produced electric buses.

    BasiGo provides state-of-the-art electric buses along with charging and maintenance services for bus operators, making these vehicles affordable through a financing model that allows operators to pay for the battery and charging separately from the bus through a pay-as-you-go financing arrangement.

    Disrupt Africa reported in November 2021 the company had launched operations in Nairobi having secured KES100 million (US$900,000) in funding earlier in the year. It then raised a US$4.3 million seed funding round in February 2022, and followed that up in November with US$6.6 million in new seed funding to begin commercial delivery of locally-manufactured electric buses and charging infrastructure.

    Since then it has received over 350 deposits for electric buses from Nairobi bus operators, and it has now taken on a US$5 million debt facility to scale local assembly of these buses.

    The funding comes from BII’s Climate Innovation Facility, a catalytic programme for accelerating climate innovation in emerging markets. The US$5 million investment will be used to scale local assembly of electric buses to cater to the rapidly growing demand from bus operators in Kenya.

    The buses will be delivered through BasiGo’s pay-as-you-drive financing model, which enables bus operators to acquire electric buses without incurring the high upfront cost. Consequently, BII’s financing support will be crucial in transitioning Kenya’s public transport from diesel-powered vehicles to modern electric buses. Each BasiGo electric bus deployed in Nairobi in place of a diesel bus mitigates over 50 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year.

    “We are thrilled to receive this catalytic financial support from BII. It is a testament to our shared commitment towards building scalable climate solutions here within Africa,” said Jonathan Green, co-founder and chief financial officer of BasiGo. “Because electric buses in Kenya are powered by the country’s abundance of renewable energy, electrification of public transport in Kenya holds transformative potential. Electric buses promise freedom from fuel imports, cleaner air, modern and affordable transport for the general public, and significant impact in lowering transport CO2 emissions. BII recognises this opportunity, and their support for BasiGo will enable us to directly deliver on that promise.” 

    Chris Chijiutomi, managing director and head of Africa at BII, said it was exciting to partner with businesses such as BasiGo, which are “at the frontier of tackling climate change”.

    “BasiGo is a leader, it’s revolutionising public transport in Kenya with the potential to mitigate five million tonnes of CO2 in Nairobi alone. BII’s Climate Innovation Facility was designed to help scale impactful, cutting-edge technologies, with the potential to transform the lives of people and communities in Africa. We are delighted to partner with BasiGo via this facility,” he said.

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