BasiGo, a Kenyan electric vehicle technology and financing startup introducing electric bus services to Sub-Saharan Africa, has acquired a seed funding round of US$4.3 million to enable it commercialize its business model and commence local assembly of electric buses.
Novastar Ventures led the seed round, which included Moxxie Ventures, Nimble Partners, Spring Ventures, Climate Capital, and Third Derivative, as well as other Silicon Valley investors.
The firm offers bus operators state-of-the-art electric buses as well as charging and maintenance services, making these vehicles cheap through a financing approach that allows operators to pay for the battery and charging independently from the bus via a pay-as-you-go financing structure.
“We’re delighted to be working with Novastar, Moxxie, and this fantastic set of investors,” said Jit Bhattacharya, CEO and co-founder of BasiGo.
Additionally, BasiGo has constructed a state-of-the-art charging and maintenance facility for electric buses next to Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. Each BasiGo electric bus helps to minimize air pollution and climate-warming emissions caused by Kenya’s diesel buses by leveraging the fact that 73 percent of Kenya’s electricity originates from renewable sources.
BasiGo plans to use the funds to start selling and delivering electric buses this year, as well as assembling them locally in Kenya.
Public bus operators can purchase an electric bus for the same upfront cost as a diesel-powered vehicle using BasiGo’s “pay-as-you-drive” financing system.
BasiGo wants to deploy over 1,000 locally made electric buses in Nairobi over the next five years using this model.