Home » Jit Bhattacharya-led BasiGo receives $6.6 million to kick-off EV assembly in Kenya

Jit Bhattacharya-led BasiGo receives $6.6 million to kick-off EV assembly in Kenya

by Feyisayo Ajayi
Jit Bhattacharya

BasiGo, a Kenyan e-mobility startup led by Nairobi-based entrepreneur Jit Bhattacharya, has raised $6.6 million from investors to support the assembly of electric buses in Kenya as it expands its production of public transportation vehicles (PSVs) in the country.

The $6.6-million capital injection was co-led by Mobility54, Toyota Tsusho’s corporate venture capital arm, and Novastar, an Africa-focused venture capital investment firm, and comes roughly nine months after the startup received $4.3 million in preliminary funding from investors.

The latest equity funding, which increases the startup’s total investment since inception to $10.9 million, will be critical in ramping up the manufacturing of PSVs as it aims to produce 100 units by the end of next year.

Fifteen of the 100 PSVs it wants to deliver next year will be manufactured in January 2023 using parts from China’s EV manufacturer, BYD Automotive.

Aside from ambitions to increase production, the $6.6-million investment secured from investors and venture capital firms will be used to extend its charging infrastructure network, with an initial concentration on Nairobi, where its clients are mostly operational.

“As we prepare to deliver the next batch of e-buses to new customers, we are deploying the necessary charging infrastructure to support that expanded fleet,” BasiGo CEO Jit Bhattacharya said. “At the moment, all of our customers are Nairobi public service vehicle providers, and we are building charging infrastructure to support their operations in the Nairobi area.”

He also stated that the startup intends to start delivering to consumers on routes outside of Nairobi as it seeks to expand the reach of its charging network beyond the city limits.

Bhattacharya and his friend Jonathan Green founded BasiGo in 2021 with the aim to revolutionize Kenya’s public transportation sector by providing bus owners with a cost-effective electric alternative to diesel, thus making East Africa a global leader in clean, affordable electric bus transit.

To support its plans for expansion in the Kenyan market and across East Africa, the startup has partnered with KCB Group, one of East Africa’s top financial services groups, to launch a financing scheme that will allow Kenyans to access financing options for the purchase of electric public service vehicles.

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