Bboxx, a London-headquartered cleantech startup that provides clean energy in Africa, has reportedly acquired PEG Africa, another cleantech startup based in Accra, in a deal worth $200 million, according to reports from TechCabal.
This deal is the largest across all categories—including venture funding, grant, or M&A—in the African cleantech startup ecosystem. Such a large injection signals the maturity of the sector and sets the stage for more capital injection into it.
Though signed paperwork exists, the acquisition is still subject to customary closing conditions, including an agreement with lenders. Where arrangements are concerned, institutional lenders like Nairobi- and London-based Sunfunder and Swiss ResponsAbility, which both finance PEG’s operations, will need to take their time to move entities (aka debt) from PEG to Bboxx. These moving parts may take another 3 weeks to go into effect, according to the source.
According to one source, Bboxx’s overarching ambition is to become one of the biggest next-generation utility companies in the world. Since Africa is a significant focal point—followed by Asia, which it has expanded into—Bboxx is ready to consolidate its position by merging with or acquiring existing energy startups.
Bboxx was founded in 2010 by Mansoor Hamayun, Christopher Baker-Brian, and Laurent Van Houcke to bring electricity into homes across Africa through an affordable pay-as-you-go renewable energy supply. The company has since added clean water and clean cooking to its line of offerings. According to our source, Bboxx has helped more than 5 million people access clean energy.
The company is present in 7 African countries—Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Rwanda, DR Congo, Togo, Guinea, and Kenya. Bboxx has won grants, secured loans from local and international banks, and raised tens of millions in venture funding. It’s also in partnership with several private companies and governments, including DR Congo, which just renewed its partnership last month.
While PEG Africa was founded in 2013 by Hugh Whalan and Nate Heller to do the same thing Bboxx set out to do—provide a pay-as-you-go alternative to electricity to over 700 million Africans without access to electricity. The business kickstarted in Ghana and expanded into Mali, Senegal, and Ivory Coast. It has collectively served more than 2 million people and raised $65 million in funding.
One of the most strategic points of this deal is that the 2 companies, Bboox and PEG aren’t currently operating in the same market. So it’s a perfect way for Bboxx to enter these markets. According to our sources, it’s likely that PEG will keep its brand name and talents, and will continue operating independently for now.
This story is yet to be confirmed and will be updated when official announcements are made.