The electric vehicle adoption and interest is growing in Kenya following BasiGo’s recent announcement that it will be supplying fifteen 25-seater electric buses to some matatu SACCOs operating in Nairobi. This follows a similar development by rival e-bus company, ROAM, which supplied one ROAM Rapid bus to Kenya Mpya SACCO. The bus is active along Thika Road and Waiyaki Way.
Back in March 2020, BasiGo announced a $4.3 million seed funding round, led by Novastar Ventures with participation from several Silicon Valley investors including Moxxie Ventures, Nimble Partners, Spring Ventures, Climate Capital, and Third Derivative.
That fund was to enable the firm to launch sales and delivery of its electric buses, as well as a local assembly of its electric buses here in Kenya.
Now, BasiGo has gotten more investment after it announced $6.6 million in new funding. The funds were sourced from 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, among others.
This means that BasiGo’s total funding is nearly $11 million, and this will play a role in pushing for the commercial delivery of locally-assembled electric buses.
“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,” says Jit Bhattacharya, CEO of BasiGo.
As said, 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.
It plans to deliver over 1,000 electric buses in the next three years.
BasiGo has grown in leaps and bounds since Novastar’s initial investment in February 2022 – a hugely successful 6-month electric bus pilot, 100+ electric bus reservations from Nairobi’s leading public bus operators, local financing agreements with leading Kenyan banks, commercial order,s and production of 15+ electric buses and a strengthened team. We are excited to continue partnering with the exceptional team at BasiGo as they enter this next growth phase and welcome new investors, especially Mobility54 and Trucks VC, to this exciting journey,” said Sapna Shah, Partner with Novastar Ventures.
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.
So far, there are more than 1000 electric vehicles on Kenya’s roads.