This London firm has just received the most crowdfunding funding for an African solar project

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  • BBOXX, a British solar company, supplies electricity in 12 African countries on a pay-as-you-go basis.
  • The company has just raised the largest single crowdfunding for an African solar project on the Trine solar crowdfunding platform with € 6 million (almost € 95 million).
  • BBOXX says crowdfunding has lowered capital costs.

A London energy company has raised EUR 6 million (EUR 95 million) for its African solar projects through a crowdfunding site. This is the largest transaction of its kind so far.

Founded in 2010, BBOXX has offices in 12 African countries that supply thousands of homes with solar energy. The funding was raised by the solar crowdfunding company Trine. 4,400 unique investors participated in the financing via the platform.

BBOXX is backed by US venture capital firm SIMA and Bamboo Capital Partners in Luxembourg and has previously raised funds from French energy company Engie.

Private investors can participate in the platform from 25 € (400 R400), but the average investment was between 500 and 600 € to try to facilitate the supply of areas of the continent, which have little or no limited access to electricity.

"I was skeptical of crowdfunding, but I think it's great that I've proven wrong," said BBOXX chief Mansoor Hamayun in an interview with Business Insider. "It has really increased people's attachment to this issue and even lowered the cost of capital."

BBOXX uses a cloud-based AI system to log consumer data to optimize and scale operations. The company hopes that its approach will help predict problems before they arise through big data.

People all over Africa are already spending a lot of money, for example, to access electricity via diesel or kerosene. BBOXX offers a similar solution, albeit more environmentally friendly.

Crowdfunding is a new format for utilities on the continent.

"This deal really puts pressure on traditional investment methods for projects like these, giving more power to private investors," Hamayun added.

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