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Next generation utility BBOXX has secured an $8 million loan from the Facility for Energy Inclusion Off-Grid Energy Access Fund (FEI OGEF).

The local currency loan – one of the first to be made since the fund’s launch last year – accelerates BBOXX’s roll-out of solar home systems across Rwanda, its largest market.

The Rwandan Franc-denominated loan enables the company to expand its operations and bring clean, reliable and affordable energy to many more individuals, communities, and SMEs previously living without it.

To date, BBOXX has installed 80,000 solar home systems in customers’ homes and businesses across Rwanda.

The innovative local currency loan mitigates the company’s medium-term FX related risks, as customers make mobile money payments in Rwandan Francs to pay for their solar electricity.

Mansoor Hamayun, CEO and co-founder of BBOXX commented: “We are thrilled to have secured this loan from FEI OGEF to turbocharge our roll-out of solar home systems across Rwanda. It will help us to advance our goal of transforming lives and unlocking economic potential through access to energy."

He added: “With substantial operations in Rwanda already, this deal demonstrates confidence in our business model and our ability to scale and deliver much-needed reliable and affordable electricity, as the entry point to all other modern utilities.”

Blended finance

FEI OGEF is a $100 million blended finance debt fund that provides predominantly secured financing to support the growth of innovative companies in the off-grid energy sector.

The fund is managed by LHGP Asset Management, the asset management arm of Lion’s Head Group.

FEI OGEF is the off-grid window of the African Development Bank (AfDB) flagship initiative, Facility for Energy Inclusion.

It has received funding from the AfDB, the Nordic Development Fund, the European Union, the Global Environment Facility, and All-On Nigeria as well as debt financing from Calvert Impact Capital and the Prudential Insurance Company of America.

Harry Guinness, managing director at Lion’s Head and OGEF Fund manager, said: “BBOXX has invested in the team, products, and infrastructure needed to achieve scale. With this transaction, FEI OGEF provides efficient, sustainable and scalable capital to catalyse the next stage of BBOXX’s growth in Rwanda and beyond.”