Kenyan-based electric vehicle technology and financing startup BasiGo has closed a $4.3 million seed funding round.
The funding was led by Novastar Ventures with participation from several Silicon Valley investors including: Moxxie Ventures, Nimble Partners, Spring Ventures, Climate Capital, and Third Derivative.
BasiGo which is bringing electric bus services to sub-Saharan Africa says it will use the new funding to commercialise its electric bus business model and launch local assembly of electric buses in Kenya.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with Novastar, Moxxie, and this incredible group of investors, all of whom are deeply experienced in rapidly scaling businesses in this market.” said Jit Bhattacharya, CEO and Co-Founder at BasiGo.“
They understand this extraordinary moment of opportunity and urgency as time runs out for the world to make a meaningful impact on climate emissions. With East Africa’s abundant renewable energy, this market can leapfrog to clean, modern electric transit at the exact moment that African cities emerge as the next centre of economic growth. The support and knowledge of this investor group will catalyse BasiGo in its mission to make East Africa a leader in inclusive, sustainable bus transport.” he added.
BasiGo has brought two 25-seat electric buses to Kenya which are currently undergoing performance and reliability testing in Nairobi. These buses will enter pilot operation with select bus operators in Nairobi beginning in March 2022. BasiGo sources electric buses from BYD Automotive, the largest electric bus manufacturer in the world. These buses are capable of travelling 250km on a single charge and offer a more modern and comfortable passenger experience than current diesel buses in Nairobi including USB Charging and WiFi connectivity for all passengers.
BasiGo has also opened a charging and servicing depot for electric buses located adjacent to Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. Leveraging the fact that 73% of Kenya’s electricity comes from renewable sources, each BasiGo electric bus helps to dramatically reduce the air pollution and climate-warming emissions originating from Kenya’s diesel buses.
This latest funding round will enable BasiGo to launch sales and delivery of its electric buses this year, as well as local assembly of its electric buses here in Kenya. BasiGo will offer electric buses to bus operators here in Kenya through the company’s unique “Pay-As-You-Drive” financing solution, which enables public bus owners to purchase an electric bus for the same upfront cost as an equivalent diesel bus. Through this model, BasiGo plans to deploy over 1,000 locally assembled electric buses in Nairobi over the next five years.