BEAM investment platform to deploy initial $50m to scale energy access in the developing world
Geneva/London, 7 February 2018 – A pioneering platform set to revolutionize access to energy for millions in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia is launched today. The BEAM platform – the first of its kind – is set to initially deploy USD$50 million in equity for distributed energy service companies (NGUs) and will unlock further debt capital. It is the brainchild of Bamboo Capital Partners (“Bamboo”), the pioneering private equity firm delivering positive social and financial value, and Bboxx, a next generation utility.
BEAM starts with a first equity investment in Bboxx and its data-driven NGUs, providing off-grid energy to consumers in Africa and Asia, to scale and generate greater impact in their respective markets. In addition to the equity capital from BEAM, the investment platform will catalyze further capital through debt, joint ventures and co-investments.
With some 1.1 billion people across the world without access to reliable energy, BEAM aims to play an instrumental role in delivering energy services to transform lives in the developing world. BEAM aims to aid the growth of an array of off-grid energy service companies, spanning solar home systems, large solar, and metering applications such as pumps and mini-grids.
In the first instance the deployment of capital will focus on ten countries but the vision is for this to disrupt the market and scale across continents.
Jean-Philippe de Schrevel, Founder at Bamboo Capital Partners, said, “BEAM will catalyse substantial investment into off-grid energy access initiatives across the developing world. By drawing in and encouraging further capital via joint ventures, debt and co-investments, we have a bold and ambitious vision of providing millions more with access to energy to improve their everyday lives.
The vision of BEAM is to grow and thereby unlock this multi-billion dollar market.
“Importantly, alongside a tried and tested strategy, BEAM already has considerable firepower to make investments in the coming year. We will now be executing our strategy so that in the long term we achieve Bamboo’s ultimate objective of delivering social and financial impact.”
By focusing on distributed businesses, BEAM is helping to leapfrog the need for developing countries to invest in expensive traditional grid infrastructure, thereby aiding economic growth.
Partnering through BEAM will enable distributed energy service companies to benefit from Bboxx’s data-driven smart technology to improve operational efficiency and enhance customer service.
This includes Pulse, a cloud-based task management platform, which enables distributed businesses to improve efficiency. Pulse digitalises a business’ entire sales and service management, automating tasks for sales agents, technicians, call centres and its supply chain. For example, Pulse uses product monitoring to predict failure and allow the operational team to proactively support customers, automatically schedules field staff tasks, and understands what type of customer is most likely to default.
Mansoor Hamayun, Chief Executive Officer of Bboxx said, “BEAM solves two key market failures to scale NGUs across the developing world – firstly, access to equity before debt becomes viable, and secondly it allows to drive disaggregation in what has been a vertical integrated model – both essential to scale.
“The BEAM model will allow to take our successful model in Rwanda and Kenya and expand it across Africa and Asia by solving a key financial challenge.
We are excited by the prospect of partnering with Bamboo and the BEAM platform to power the growth of off-grid utilities across the developing world.”