BBOXX, the next generation utility, has secured an USD$8 million loan from the Facility for Energy Inclusion Off-Grid Energy Access Fund (FEI OGEF). The local currency loan – one of the first to be made since the fund’s launch last year – accelerates BBOXX’s roll-out of solar home systems across Rwanda, its largest market.
The Rwandan Franc-denominated loan enables BBOXX to expand its operations and bring clean, reliable and affordable energy to many more individuals, communities and SMEs previously living without it. To date BBOXX has installed 80,000 solar home systems in customers’ homes and businesses in Rwanda. The innovative local currency loan mitigates the company’s medium-term FX related risks, as BBOXX customers make mobile money payments in Rwandan Francs to pay for their solar electricity.
This latest deal will help drive BBOXX’s collaboration with the Government of Rwanda and make strides towards meeting its national electrification targets. It also builds on recent deals BBOXX has signed this year generating investment in Rwanda’s energy sector. BBOXX secured USD$31 million from Africa Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM) in January to scale its Rwanda operations, alongside its roll-out in Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
FEI OGEF is a USD$100 million blended finance debt fund that provides predominantly secured financing to support the growth of innovative companies in the off-grid energy sector. The fund is managed by LHGP Asset Management, the asset management arm of Lion’s Head Group. FEI OGEF is the off-grid window of the African Development Bank (AFDB) flagship initiative, Facility for Energy Inclusion. It has received funding from the AFDB, the Nordic Development Fund, the European Union, the Global Environment Facility and All-On Nigeria as well as debt financing from Calvert Impact Capital and the Prudential Insurance Company of America.
Mansoor Hamayun, CEO and Co-Founder of BBOXX commented: “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.”
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.”
This is the latest in a string of innovative local financing deals that BBOXX has led on in recent years. Last year, BBOXX was behind adebt finance deal worth USD$4 million from local Togolese bank, Union Togolaise de Banque (UTB).