Top autotech investors have invested $6.6 million in BasiGo.
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, has led $6.6 million in new funding for BasiGo, the first company to introduce electric buses into Kenya. Moxxie Ventures, MCJ, the Susquehanna Foundation, Keiki Capital, and OnCapital are among the other investors in this round. With this latest fundraising round, BaisGo’s total funding for 2022 has reached $10.9 million, allowing the firm to commence commercial delivery of locally produced electric buses and charging infrastructure using the company’s innovative Pay-As-You-Drive finance model.
CEO Jit Bhattacharya is delighted that “leaders in the automobile business and climate finance” have invested in BasiGo’s company. The majority of Kenya’s power comes from renewable sources. Transport in Kenya, however, is dependent on imported petroleum fuels. As a result of electrifying Kenya’s public transportation, we can immediately reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality in our cities, and reduce the financial burden on bus owners caused by the ever-increasing price of fuel. Now that they have the money, BasiGo can provide all of Africa with access to the advantages of cutting-edge electric transportation.
There are more than 100,000 privately owned buses and minibusses in Kenya collectively referred to as “matatus.” As part of fleet operations with two Nairobi bus operators, Citi Hoppa and East Shuttle, BasiGo’s electric buses have traveled over 110,000 kilometers and transported over 140,000 passengers. BasiGo has recently announced collaborations with KCB Bank and Family Bank to give up to 90% financing to owners for the purchase of an electric bus and has already received over 100 client bookings.
In a statement, Mobility54 CEO Takeshi Watanabe stated, “We passionately believe in the potential of electric buses in Africa.” Conventional diesel buses may be converted to eco-friendly electric buses thanks to BasiGo’s innovative idea and cutting-edge technology. We’re thrilled to forge a lasting relationship with BasiGo and contribute to the company’s development by helping them make full use of the business assets available to them via Toyota Tsusho and CFAO.
The hefty initial investment is the main factor preventing the widespread use of electric buses in developing economies. Using the Pay-As-You-Drive approach developed by BasiGo, owners may buy an electric bus for the same outlay as they would a diesel bus. Based on the number of kilometers driven, operators pay BasiGo a membership fee of KES 20 ($0.17) per kilometer, which covers the cost of leasing the E-Bus battery, charging at BasiGo charge stations, and receiving BasiGo’s full suite of servicing and maintenance. Bus companies in Nairobi, Kenya, are reportedly spending between KES 30 and KES 50 ($0.25 and $42) per kilometer on diesel fuel due to recent price hikes in Kenya.
It is our mission at Trucks to support innovators who are shaping the transport industry of the future. BasiGo’s Pay-As-You-Drive platform is the key to electrifying and modernising the enormous informal public transport industry in Africa; therefore, we decided to invest in them,” said Jeff Schox, General Partner of Trucks VC.
In January, BasiGo will begin supplying several of Nairobi’s top bus companies with the next 15 of its electric vehicles. With this larger fleet in mind, BasiGo has begun installing high-power, DC fast-charging stations in key areas around Nairobi. The business plans to have over a thousand electric buses operating in Kenya by the end of 2025 and claims that all vehicles supplied in 2023 would be locally produced there.