BasiGo, a Kenya-based start-up has just raised $4.3 million. The funding is intended for the expansion of the start-up and the installation of an electric bus assembly plant in Nairobi.
Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, is also the country’s largest city with 4 million inhabitants. With a rapidly growing population, public transport is an alternative to daily traffic jams. In this context, the start-up BasiGo proposes an ecological mobility solution that can replace combustion vehicles, which cause noise pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and health problems.
To finance its pilot project to assemble electric buses, the start-up recently raised $4.3 million in funding. The funds were raised from a group of Silicon Valley investors, including Moxxie Ventures, Nimble Partners, Spring Ventures, Climate Capital and Third Derivative. The fundraising was arranged by Novastar Ventures, a venture capital firm based in Nairobi and Lagos, Nigeria. Note that these funds raised also include $930,000 raised in a similar transaction in the last quarter of 2021.
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“These investors all have extensive experience with the rapid growth of companies in the electric mobility market. They understand this extraordinary moment of opportunity and urgency as time runs out for the world to make a meaningful impact on climate emissions,” says BasiGo co-founder and CEO Jit Bhattacharya.
Rolling out its electric buses
The start-up BasiGo specializes in converting internal combustion engines into electric ones. In this context, the start-up plans to provide more than 1,000 electric buses for public transport to Nairobi operators by 2027. “Kenya is unique in that we have a surplus of renewable energy that the public transport sector can take advantage of to make it more sustainable,” says BasiGo COO Alex Mwaura.
Launched in 2017, Kenyan start-up BasiGo aims to locally assemble its electric buses with capacities of 25 and 36 seats, with a range of about 250 kilometers, using parts from Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer BYD Automotive. In an effort to encourage adoption of these vehicles, the start-up will extend pay-as-you-drive credit options to drivers and provide maintenance and charging services.