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London-based utility company BBOXX has secured USD 6.8 Mn for its African solar projects. The raise, which is the largest of its kinds, was derived from a crowdfunding site and would be used to underserved electricity regions in the continent.
BBOXX operates in 12 African countries, raising significant rounds and providing solar-powered energy on a pay-as-you-go basis to thousands of households. The recent fundraise, which follows a recent financial reception from Africa Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM), was successful as a result of efforts from Trine – a crowdfunding company.
BBOXX, who is backed by United States Venture Capital firm SIMA and Bamboo Capital Partners, was able to attract 4,400 unique investors to take part in the crowdfunded scheme via Trine’s platform.
On the platform, retail investors can participate from 25, but the average funding was between 500-600, which was designed like so in an attempt to help supply to African regions with little or tremendously limited access to electricity.
BBOXX CEO Mansoor Hamayun said: “I was sceptical about crowdfunding, but I love being proved wrong. It’s really boosted people’s engagement with the issue, and even driven down the cost of capital.”
The London utility company used a cloud-based Artificial Intelligence system to log consumer data to optimise and scale operations. With hopes that its approach will help predict problems before they occur via big data, BBOXX went on to participate in what is a relatively new funding format for utility companies in the continent. According to Hamayun, the deal entirely puts pressure on conventional means of investments for projects similar to BBOXX’s and affords more power for retail investors.
The electricity deficit in some African countries cannot be overemphasised. People spend chunks of money purchasing diesel, fuel or kerosene to access meagre forms of power. BBOXX, with huge investments so far, attempts to tackle the problem by offering a similar solution, albeit more environmentally friendly.
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