BasiGo, the Kenyan-based electric manufacturer working to bring EVs for public transportation has raised $6.6 million (Sh804.5 million ), in a round led by Toyota, through its venture capital subsidiary Mobility 54.
Toyota pumped $1 million into the project BasiGo. Other participating investors include Novastar; an Africa-focused VC firm and Trucks.vc, a Silicon-Valley-based VC firm that backs startups in the transport sector.
The money is expected to speed up BasiGo’s effort to build electric buses for public transport systems in Kenya and the continent at large.
Toyota previously backed electric startups across, including Zembo, an electric motorcycle manufacturer in Uganda, and the UK-based battery manufacturer Aceleron.
“Toyota Tsusho will accelerate the electric mobility business by utilizing the innovative technologies of these startups and combining them with Toyota Tsusho Group’s automobile businesses in Africa,” the company said in a statement.
“BasiGo is thrilled to have the backing of investors who are leaders in the automotive sector and climate finance, with this new funding, BasiGo is ready to bring the benefits of state-of-the-art electric transport to all people in Africa,” said Jit Bhattacharya, the chief executive at BasiGo.
BasiGo hopes to deliver 15 electric bases to Nairobi in January and put up more convenient charging infrastructure across the country throughout 2023. The plan, the company says, is to have over 1000 electric buses operating in Kenya by 2025, all of them being locally assembled.’
“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,” Bhattacharya added.