Bboxx secures pioneering financing facility with Deutsche Asset Management to bring off-grid electricity to 150,000 more Rwandans
Kigali, 24 October 2017 – Bboxx, a next generation utility, will bring electricity to an additional 150,000 Rwandans, after it successfully closed a US$5 million facility with Deutsche Asset Management’s Essential Capital Consortium.
With a quarter of a million existing customers, Bboxx is already the largest and most sophisticated off-grid utility in the country. Bboxx delivers households with an on-grid experience in the off-grid setting, providing a comprehensive package that goes beyond what other pico-solar systems attempt to provide.
Essential Capital Consortium is a fund managed by Deutsche Asset Management, a 20-year veteran in the sustainable investing sector. The facility will be managed in-country by Atlas Mara’s Rwandan entity, Banque Populaire du Rwanda (BPR), which is already a lender to Bboxx.
This trilateral deal is the first of its kind in the industry and is further evidence of Bboxx’s ground-breaking fundraising abilities. Earlier this year it closed the world’s first local currency financing deal with BPR, and two years ago, it also became the first to securitize an off-grid solar home portfolio.
Monica Keza, Managing Director of Bboxx Rwanda, commented: “We are excited to partner with another top tier investor to continue providing the most comprehensive off-grid solution at an affordable price in Rwanda, accelerating the Government of Rwanda’s vision of universal energy access.
“This deal proves global financial institutions are eager to partner to catalyse off-grid solar in Rwanda and East Africa more broadly. What we have done is not just unique structurally, it is unique for the entire industry.”
Andrew Pidden, Head of Sustainable Investments at Deutsche Asset Management, commented: “Bboxx is one of the most exciting and scalable companies in the off-grid sector today and has built a strong presence in Rwanda. Deutsche Asset Management is pleased to support the growth in access to electricity toward a goal of universal access to energy for all.”
Maurice Toroitich, CEO of BPR part of Atlasmara, said: “We are pleased to partner with Bboxx and Essential Capital Consortium in this transaction which will significantly increase the capacity of Bboxx to provide solar systems for the off-grid electrification in Rwanda. We remain committed to supporting access to energy across Rwanda to assist the government’s ambitious plan of ensuring 100% access to electricity in the country within the next seven years.”
This latest financing will showcase to banks in emerging markets that Bboxx is the proven vehicle to reach ‘last mile’ customers. Bboxx has recently signed a partnership with the Government of Togo to deploy 300,000 systems and intends to replicate such structures when attracting the billions of dollars of capital needed from investors to eradicate energy poverty worldwide.
Bboxx and Deutsche Bank were advised by Trinity LLP and White & Case LLP respectively. The facility will be further supported by guarantees from the African Guarantee Fund and US AID’s DCA facility and a foreign exchange swap from MFX Solutions.