BasiGo, a Kenyan Electric Vehicle startup, has raised $4.3 million in seed funding to provide clean-energy mass transit vehicles in Kenya.

The round was led by Novastar Ventures with participation from a number of existing and new Silicon Valley investors, including Moxxie Ventures, Nimble Partners, Spring Ventures, Climate Capital and Third Derivative. The $4.3 million includes $930,000 raised during the pre-seed round late last year.

Founded in 2021 by Jit Bhatt Acharya and Jonathan Green, BasiGo is an e-mobility startup looking to revolutionize the public transportation sector by providing public transport bus owners with a cost-effective electric alternative to diesel.

The startup said it will use the new funding to set up an assembly plant in Nairobi and to launch the sales and delivery of its electric buses.

Already, BasiGo has set up a charging and servicing depot adjacent to the country’s main airport, the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, in the capital, Nairobi. It has also imported two electric buses for the pilot program.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Novastar, Moxxie, and this incredible group of investors, all of whom are deeply experienced in rapidly scaling businesses in this market. They understand this extraordinary moment of opportunity and urgency as time runs out for the world to make a meaningful impact on climate emissions,” said BasiGo co-founder and CEO, Jit Bhattacharya.

“With East Africa’s abundant renewable energy, this market can leapfrog to clean, modern electric transit at the exact moment that African cities emerge as the next center of economic growth. The support and knowledge of this investor group will catalyze BasiGo in its mission to make East Africa a leader in inclusive, sustainable bus transport,” he said.

BasiGo plans to supply over 1,000 mass transit electric buses to transport operators in Nairobi over the next five years. To encourage the uptake of these vehicles, the startup will extend pay-as-you-drive credit options to drivers, and provide maintenance and charging services.

BasiGo will locally assemble its EV buses – which will come in 25 and 36-seater capacities, with a range of about 250 kilometers – using parts sourced from China’s EV maker BYD Automotive.

“We are excited to partner with BasiGo and support the team’s audacious vision to transform the public bus transport sector in Africa. Our investment will accelerate the adoption of electric buses through an innovative finance model, leading to a vastly improved experience for commuters as well as better air quality in dense urban neighborhoods”, said Novastar Ventures partner Sapna Shah.

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