Unlocking potential through access to energy – how Bboxx is leveraging technology and forging partnerships to meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals

Bboxx exists to solve a major global problem: energy poverty. 840 million people across the globe currently live without electricity while a further 1 billion are connected to an unreliable and expensive electrical grid, significantly hindering economic growth.

Access to clean, reliable and affordable energy is indispensable. Not only is it a basic right but it is also a stepping stone to further economic development.

Driving impact though pioneering technology
At Bboxx, we are proud to have positively impacted the lives of over 1 million people through access to clean, reliable and affordable electricity via our solar home systems (SHS). We have also just launched a campaign to celebrate this major achievement for the business.
Our disruptive technology is at the heart of what we do. Bboxx would not have been able to achieve such scale over the last 10 years without it. Bboxx Pulse™, our comprehensive management platform, uses Internet of Things technology to remotely monitor our solar home systems. This means we can proactively fix any issues on a SHS before becoming a problem for rural, urban and peri-urban customers alike.

Bboxx is also harnessing the 1 billion data points collected daily to improve our service to customers and innovate further. The data builds up a detailed picture of activity, including monitoring battery health, usage, frequency, also allowing us to essentially build up a type of credit score for customers that have otherwise been excluded from most formal financial systems. In this way, we are driving financial inclusion at scale using data as the mechanism.

Since we started, we have also processed more than 6 million mobile payments, highlighting the extent of mobile money uptake in the markets we operate. This has been key to the success of the off grid solar sector. 

With the launch of our latest product bPower20, those on the lowest incomes will also be able to have access to energy, ensuring that no one is left behind.

Forging global partnerships
We are using our technology to scale across Africa and Asia by working with key partners from major utilities and global companies to investors and governments. We are working in partnership to provide a sustainable, affordable and commercial solution to transform the lives of those living without electricity.

Our latest Series D $50 million funding round led by Mitsubishi Corporation was a key milestone for us as a business. Investments like this enable us to expand and consolidate our geographical footprint while also developing our product range to suit a wide variety of energy needs and value-added services beyond energy.

In Togo, we have partnered with the Government as a key partner to roll-out their CIZO initiative and also secured significant funding from EDF who became a 50% partner in our Togo operations. Alongside EDF, we have ramped up our operations in Togo to become a major supplier of off-grid electricity in the country.

We are continuing to innovate to find the best possible ways of making electricity even more affordable. As part of our partnership with the Government of Togo, Bboxx customers receive subsidies to use for solar energy payments, in a bid to make solar even more affordable for those on the lowest incomes.

We’ve also been working with Africa Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM) to ramp up operations to some of our key markets in Rwanda, Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Just a few weeks ago we signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Government in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Our work will help to bring clean, reliable and affordable energy to 10 million citizens by 2024. In doing so, we aim to drive the creation of 100,000 jobs in the country as part of the deal, positively impacting the economic development of the DRC as a result.

Looking ahead
This year we’re celebrating 10 years since we were founded. We are focused now more than ever before on catalysing our vision and bringing energy as a service to greater numbers of people across the globe. And our job is not done yet.

Through our work, we are actively contributing to UN SDG 7 – ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all – but also to nine other SDGs which come about as a result of access to energy or via our work across the globe. For example, delivering SDG 7 will drive the creation of jobs and promote sustained, inclusive economic growth (SDG 8) as well as offset substantial CO2e emissions to help combat climate change (SDG 13).

We will continue to generate impact through our pioneering technology, forging partnerships with major utilities and investors, and expanding our global footprint. Across the industry we have been recognised for our work, having won the internationally acclaimed prestigious Zayed Sustainability Prize for Energy in 2019 and we are continuing with our mission every day.

We are looking forward to speaking to many more of you about how together we can make an impact on global energy access at the Global Off-Grid Solar Forum. Please come visit our booth and hear us speak at the conference to find out more about our work and how we can partner to unlock SDGs for the future.

Bboxx is a next generation utility, transforming lives and unlocking potential through access to energy.

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