BasiGo has received a USD 1.5 million (KES 227 Million) grant from USAID as it seeks to scale up its operations in Rwanda.
Launched in 2020, BasiGo recently celebrated a milestone of serving over a million passengers. As of June 2023, BasiGo had 19 buses on the road. They are operated by private sector partners (Matatu Saccos) using pay-as-you-drive mileage-based leases. The financing solution enables public bus owners to purchase an electric bus for the same upfront cost as an equivalent diesel bus.
In a statement, the company indicated that the grant will directly support our Electric Bus pilot with Kigali’s leading bus operators, and rapid scale-up of our E-bus solution in Rwanda. This will mark the first time BasiGo has buses in Rwanda. In June this year, BasiGo entered a partnership with Tap&Go (AC Group Rwanda) with an objective of delivering 200 state-of-the-art E-buses to Rwanda by 2025.
We are proud to announce we have been awarded a $1.5 million grant from @USAID to scale clean, green public transport in Rwanda! We are receiving this grant just as our first electric buses for Rwanda have landed in East Africa! Follow us on @basigo_rwanda to track our progress. pic.twitter.com/M5Vwfqac7b
The company will pilot leasing arrangements with some of Rwanda’s public transport companies. The pilot project will empower BasiGo to explore opportunities for securing supplementary external funding. It will also engage in comprehensive market research involving both passengers and operators. BasiGo will be able to analyse the feasibility of the initiative and establish an urban pollution monitoring system. All these efforts collectively aim to assess whether the project is viable in the long term.
Statistics indicate Rwanda’s public transport sector is faced with a need for 700 new buses. This addition will enable the sector to function optimally. The Kenyan start-up hopes its incursion into this new market places the company in a strategic position to fill the gap with EV buses. Rwanda’s government announced its plans to rapidly scale up Kigali’s public transport. The government said it is aiming to convert 20% of the public bus fleet to be electric, by 2030.
Back in March 2020, BasiGo announced a $4.3 million seed funding round. The E Mobility firm has got more investment after it announced $6.6 million in new funding a year ago.