KCB BasiGo
KCB Bank Director Corporate Banking Esther Waititu shares with Jit Bhattacharya, CEO and Co-Founder at BasiGo, during a partnership event in Nairobi recently.

The first public transport company to unveil electric buses in Kenya BasiGo has announced securing US$6.6 million (Kes804 million) in funding to accelerate commercial delivery of electric business in the country.

The latest financing brings BasiGo’s total funding this year to US$10.9 million and would go a long way in deploying locally assembled buses complete with charging infrastructure.

BasiGo has adopted a Pay-As-You-Drive financing model that sees owners to purchase an electric bus for a similar upfront cost to a diesel bus.

At the moment, BasiGo says it has received over 100 reservations from customers. The company recently struck a partnership with lenders KCB and Family Bank to advance upto 90 percent financing for the purchase of eletric buses.

“BasiGo is thrilled to have the backing of investors who are leaders in the atomotive sector and climate finance,” said Jit Bhattacharya, CEO, BasiGo.

The new financing was led by the corporate venture capital arm of Toyota Tsusho, Mobility54; a transportation-focused venture capital firm in silicon valley, Trucks VC; and Novastar Ventures, an international venture capital keen on transforming markets in Africa.

Read also: Race for green PSV buses gathers pace as KCB, BasiGo Kenya strike financing deal

The deal also includes investments from Moxxie Ventures, My Climate Journey, Susquehanna Foundation, Keiki Capital, and onCapital.

Already, BasiGo’s electric buses have covered over 110,000 kilometres, transporting over 140,000 passengers under Citi Hoppa and East Shuttle operators.

“Over 90 percent of Kenya’s electricity comes from renewables yet Kenya’s transport sector relies entirely on imported petroleum fuels,” noted Jit Bhattacharya.

“By electrifying Kenya’s public transport, we can make an immediate dent in climate emissions, clean up the air in our cities, and give bus owners relief from the rising cost of diesel. With this new funding, BasiGo is ready to bring the benefits of state-of-the-art electric transport to all people in Africa.”

Kenya’s public transport industry attracts roughly 100,000 privately-owned buses and minibuses. Fuel costs continue to be a pain point for most operators who have to increase fares to make a profit.

Under Pay-As-You-Drive financing model, the owners pay BasiGo a subscription of Kes20 per kilometre that includes leasing the e-bus battery, charging at BasiGo charge station besides maintenance offered by BasiGo.

“BasiGo’s strong capability to implement the concept and its cutting edge technology is key to transforming conventional diesel buses to environmentally-friendly electric buses,” said Mobility54 CEO Takeshi Watanabe.

“We invested in BasiGo because their Pay-As-You-Drive platform is the key to electrifying and modernising the massive informal public transport market in Africa,” Jeff Schox, General partner Trucks VC added.

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