Mitsubishi Set to Introduce off-grid Solar in Asia
With the aid of a Japanese company Mitsubishi, a firm lightning up homes in Africa, BBOXX, has secured £40 m to expand its reach into Asia.
The stake has been recently purchased through the start-up’s latest funding round. This will ground the Africa-focused company deeper into Asia.
The announcement made by Mitsubishi does not reveal many details but only explains the deal as a “substantial” investment without revealing its exact size. The remaining participants of the funding round are Engie Rassembleursd’Energies, Dutch impact investment fund DOEN Participaties, Luxembourg-based famous impact investor Bamboo Capital Partners and Mackinnon, which is a growth-equity firm based on Montreal, Bennet & Company (MKB).
The African markets currently do not have reliable access to electricity. Nearly one in three people don’t get proper electricity. In such a situation, the funds will help BBOXX to expand its horizon into the new African and Asian markets.
Two major reasons for encouraging major investments from global energy companies like US giant General Electric and France’s EDF and Engie are the falling cost of solar technology and the strength of mobile banking throughout Africa.
BBOXX’s Chief executive and co-founder Mansoor Hamayun said that Mitsubishi’s technological expertise and extensive reach would aid the firm in supplying electricity to more number of people. He added, “The funding is further evidence of Japanese interest in Africa and in PAYG [pay as you go] solar energy globally”.
Apart from electricity, BBOXX plans to provide other key utilities like gas and water to improve living standards of customers. The company claims that they will continue to work out a service platform that has wide range and benefits maximum number of people.
BBOXX has expanded its operations in 12 countries, including Rwanda, Kenya, Togo, DRC and Pakistan since its launch in 2007. Since 2010, they have sold over 1,50,000 units giving 1,000,000 people reliable and affordable electricity.
In the beginning of this year, in terms of funding the growth of the company, BBOOX sold 50% stake in its Togo-based business to EDF Energy.
During the Seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development, Mitsubishi will have an exhibition at the Japan-Africa Business Expo, an official side event that will be held from 28 to 30 August, 2019 at Pacifico Yokohama. The main aim of the business Expo is to promote trade and investment. Mitsubishi will show technologies and products to support sustainable growth in Africa.
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