Mitsubishi invests in UK company to bring off-grid solar to Asia

(The Guardian, 28 Aug 2019) Japanese conglomerate backs solar utility BBOXX to expand service in south Asia and Africa.

A British energy firm lighting up homes in Africa with pay-as-you-go solar power has secured £40m to extend its reach to Asia with the help of Japan’s Mitsubishi.

The conglomerate has taken a stake in off-grid solar company BBOXX through the start-up’s latest funding round, which will power the Africa-focused company deeper into Asia.

The funds will also help BBOXX, which operates in Rwanda, Kenya, Togo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to break into new African markets, where an estimated one in three people live without reliable access to electricity.

BBOXX is one of a growing number of energy companies to plug into the demand for energy across Africa and south Asia.

The falling cost of solar technology and the strength of mobile banking across Africa have encouraged major investments from global energy companies including US giant General Electric and France’s EDF and Engie.

Mansoor Hamayun, BBOXX’s chief executive and co-founder, said Mitsubishi’s “extensive reach” and “technological expertise” would help the company to supply more people living without access to modern utilities and services.

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The Guardian, 28 Aug 2019: Mitsubishi invests in UK company to bring off-grid solar to Asia