Images courtesy of Bboxx

Bboxx Wants To Scale Its Reach 10X To Benefit 36 Million People By 2028

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Bboxx is a data-driven super platform that is working to help transform lives by unlocking potential through connecting consumers and deploying innovative products across Africa. Following its successful acquisition of solar energy frontrunner PEG Africa in 2022, Bboxx is now positively impacting the lives of more than 3.6 million people in 10 operating markets. Bboxx says it is directly contributing to 11 of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Bboxx and its group of companies has over 4,000 staff across Africa and offices in the UK and Asia. Bboxx is active in energy access, electric mobility, clean cooking, smart financing, and is increasing access to communication with smartphones.

Bboxx started off as a company that focused on the small home solar system market. Its initial focus was on design and engineering of small home solar systems in the 10 to 50W range. Upon realizing that it was not able to find partners to sell the home solar systems on a pay-as-you-go basis at the scale required to make these more accessible for its target customers, Bboxx decided to do that pay-as-you-go financing in-house. This was about 10 years ago, starting in several markets, including Uganda, Kenya, and Rwanda.

The company has since evolved to become a data-driven platform building on and leveraging its relationships with its customers to curate solutions that meet its customers’ needs and solve the major pain points. This has enabled Bboxx to offer a wide variety of services, lowering the barriers to entry for most of its target market via the pay-as-you-go platform.

On the energy access side, Bboxx’s systems include small solar lanterns, which a lot of consumers use for lighting up their stalls at the market and similar applications. These come with small 3W solar panels. Bboxx also offers larger solar systems that have close to 2kW of solar panels, 3kVA inverters, and 5.1 kWh of lithium battery storage. These systems are quite popular with small businesses and homes as replacements for small fossil-powered generators.

Here are two examples of larger AC systems that Bboxx offers in markets such as Nigeria:

Customers switching from generators to these solar PV systems get to enjoy much quieter environments in the absence of those noisy generators and also eliminate the inconvenience of always looking for fuel to top them up. Most importantly, they get to pay off these solar and battery systems over 18 months, and thereafter no longer need to keep forking out cash as they would need to for servicing, maintaining, and refueling generators.

To make it easier for everyone to access information such as the energy generation and consumption data, Bboxx has a USSD platform. USSD platforms are more inclusive, as historically the majority of customers only had access to feature phones that didn’t support mobile apps. As the penetration of smartphones grows, Bboxx will then add apps with similar functionality. This platform also provides a summary of one’s payment history and credit scores. These credit scores also help to unlock financing for other products as well as other value-added services.

“We have installed 14.4MW, the average installation is below 40Wp per Household, we produce about 40MWh per day,” says Bboxx.

For the stationary storage battery packs, Bboxx works with several battery cell suppliers and then assembles the battery packs in China. However, Bboxx is progressively working towards doing more battery assembly in the African markets where it has a presence.

Bboxx is also actively working to help scale the adoption of electric motorcycles. Bboxx already has partnerships with Ampersand and SPIRO in Rwanda. Bboxx finances electric motorcycles for end users who are mostly motorcycle taxi riders. In the near future, Bboxx plans to move into financing the battery swap station ecosystem. Here, Bboxx will help with financing the acquisition of batteries and roll-out of battery swap stations, leaving operators to focus on their core business of operating the battery swap stations on an energy-as-a-service platform. This will help accelerate the roll-out of much needed battery swapping infrastructure, which in turn will help increase the reach of electric motorcycles in key markets, catalyzing adoption as riders will have more confidence to switch to electric motorcycles knowing that they can easily access a fully charged battery at more swap stations.

To implement and scale all of this, Bboxx has partnered with EnerTech with the announcement of a first-of-a-kind electrification platform, valued at over $100 million. This partnership between super-platform Bboxx and Kuwait’s EnerTech delivers an electrification platform to turbocharge Bboxx’s on-the-ground impact across 11 markets. The initiative will connect millions of new customers with a bundle of clean energy, clean cooking, smartphones, smart financing, and e-mobility products — many for the first time. This partnership marks a joint commitment to deliver clean technologies and will enable Bboxx to expand its impact tenfold, from currently serving 3.6 million people to benefiting 36 million people by 2028. The collaboration marks a transformative phase in Bboxx’s ability to transform lives across sub-Saharan Africa, from Lagos to Nairobi. Bboxx’s approach involves connecting consumers with a variety of innovative products at scale throughout the continent.

Bboxx says central to its rapid scaling capabilities is its Bboxx Pulse®, a fully integrated operating system, with an extensive on-the-ground network that connects customers with clean energy, clean cooking, smartphones, smart financing, and e-mobility.


Images courtesy of Bboxx

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Remeredzai Joseph Kuhudzai

Remeredzai Joseph Kuhudzai has been fascinated with batteries since he was in primary school. As part of his High School Physics class he had to choose an elective course. He picked the renewable energy course and he has been hooked ever since.

Remeredzai Joseph Kuhudzai has 777 posts and counting. See all posts by Remeredzai Joseph Kuhudzai