The company known as BasiGo which entered the Kenyan market in 2021, announced on Wednesday, February 9 that it has secured Ksh489 million ($4.3 million) in seed funding.
The funds were secured from an Investor known as Novastar Ventures and Moxxie Ventures which are based in the Silicon Valley.
BasiGo stated that it intends to channel the funds towards a local assembly plant in Kenya. Some of the money would also be pumped into its pilot program aimed at launching electric buses from March 2022.
The company which has its headquarters in Nairobi intends to enter the public service transport system by introducing electric powered matatus to ply different parts of the country.
The company also plans to use the funds to create an innovative system where operators who intend to acquire the electric buses would be required to pay an upfront cost equivalent to what they pay to buy diesel buses.
However, the payment would exclude financing the battery fitted in the buses and the charging system.
BasiGo has also announced the arrival of its two 25 seater buses in the country. The two buses are currently undergoing reliability and feasibility testing in Nairobi before the official pilot program slated for March.
To prepare for the full roll out of the electric buses, BasiGO has already opened a charging and servicing depot adjacent to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).
“For years, diesel-powered buses have been the only viable solution for bus operators in Kenya. We are excited to provide public transport operators with a new option: state-of-the-art electric buses that are more affordable, and reliable, and reduce bus operator exposure to the rising costs of diesel fuel,â€ the company CEO Jit Bhattacharya announced during the launch.
“The cost of electric bus technology has come down dramatically over the last ten years, to the point where electric buses can offer significant savings compared to fossil-fuel buses,” he added.