BasiGo, the first company to introduce electric buses to Kenya, has announced $6.6 million in new funding that is led by Mobility54 the corporate venture capital arm of Toyota Tsusho; Trucks VC, a transportation-focused venture capital fund in Silicon Valley; and Novastar Ventures, a global VC supporting entrepreneurs transforming markets in Africa.
The company has also said that rounds include investment from Moxxie Ventures, My Climate Journey, Susquehanna Foundation Keiki Capital, and OnCapital. The new round brings BaisGo’s total funding in 2022 to $10.9 Million and is said to enable the company to begin commercial delivery of locally manufactured electric buses and charging infrastructure through the company’s unique Pay-As-You-Drive financing model.
“BasiGo is thrilled to have the backing of investors who are leaders in the automotive sector and climate finance,” said Jit Bhattacharya, CEO of BasiGo. “Over 90% of Kenya’s electricity already comes from renewables. Yet Kenya’s transport sector relies entirely on imported petroleum fuels. 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 sector includes 100,000 privately-owned buses and minibuses, which are often called mataus. BasiGo has said that their electric buses have driven over 110,000 kilometres and carried over 140,000 passengers as part of fleet operations with two Nairobi bus operators: Citi Hopper and East Shuttle.
“We strongly believe in the potential of electric buses in Africa” Takeshi Watanabe – CEO of Mobility54 said in a statement. “BasiGo’s strong capability to implement the concept and its cutting-edge technology is the key to transforming conventional diesel buses to environmentally friendly electric buses. We are extremely excited to build a solid partnership with BasiGo, and to support their growth by fully leveraging the business assets under Toyota Tsusho and CFAO.”
The company has already received 100 reservations from customers and has recently announced a partnership with KCB Bank and Family Bank to provide up to 90% financing to owners for the purchase of an electric bus.
BasiGo’s next 15 electric buses will be delivered in January and will enter operation with many of Nairobi’s largest bus operators. BasiGo is already deploying high-power, DC fast-charging stations at strategic locations across Nairobi to support this expanded fleet. The company reports that all buses delivered in 2023 will be locally assembled in Kenya and aims to have over 1,000 electric buses deployed in Kenya by the end of 2025, said the company’s press release.