Kenya-based electric mobility startup Opibus has raised US$7.5 million in equity and grant funding, the largest ever in an electric mobility company in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Opibus says it will use this new funding to scale its operations in electric motorcycle and bus manufacturing.
The funding was led by Silicon Valley fund At One Ventures supported by Factor[e] Ventures and Ambo Ventures managed by former Google and Uber executives. The investment is the largest ever in an electric mobility company in Sub-Saharan Africa and is aimed to scale its operations in electric motorcycle and bus manufacturing.
Founded in 2017, Opibus is a leading provider of electric vehicles designed and manufactured locally and has existing customers across 6 countries in Africa. The startup has over the years developed products in three main segments, electric motorcycles, electric public transport/commercial vehicles as well as charging and energy solutions. The focus the company says is on creating a sustainable ecosystem for mass transport in Africa. Today, it is the largest manufacturer of electric vehicles in East Africa.
With several vehicles in different categories deployed, Opibus has reduced customer CO2 emissions by 94% and operational expenditures by more than 60%.
The company has a unique approach to both heavy electric vehicles and electric motorcycles. The proprietary powertrain enables existing heavy commercial vehicles such as buses and trucks to be converted to electric – thereby reducing cost, resource use and giving the vehicles a second life. While the motorcycle is fully designed and tailored for the local use case, with a robust frame and dual swappable battery packs providing a perfect product market fit, intended to maximise local content.
The closed fundraising consists of $5M in equity and $2.5M in additional grants, totaling $7.5M. The investments will be used to prepare for scale-up and mass manufacturing starting 2022. Africa is one of the fastest-growing transportation markets globally, with a total market potential of $10 billion by 2030, and is largely untapped.
“We are proud to be backed by globally recognized investors providing a balance between deep-tech and emerging market expertise.’’ said Filip Gardler, CEO and co-founder of Opibus.
‘’We have together reached a clear strategic and visionary alignment – with the conviction that mass manufacturing of electric mobility solutions in Africa will not only make the products more accessible and affordable but also lead to one of the largest industrialization and welfare transitions of the region in modern time,” Filip added.