Rwandan electric motorcycle maker Ampersand raises $19.5 million for fleet expansion

ImpactAlpha Editor

Roodgally Senatus

ImpactAlpha, January 9 — Kigali-based Ampersand seeks to build and finance a fleet of five million taxi motorcycles and battery swapping stations across East Africa by 2030. The goal: make electric motorcycles cheaper to buy and operate than gas-powered motorbikes.

“Our technology continues to advance, alongside the now rapid march of government e-mobility policies across Africa and removal of fuel subsidies,” said Ampersand’s Josh Whale. “Our addressable market continues to grow.” 

Two-wheeling

Ampersand has raised $19.5 million to reach its goal of putting more than 10,000 electric motorcycles on the road this year. Ecosystem Integrity Fund led the round, with participation from Acumen, Alphamundi VC, TotalEnergies, Beyond Capital Ventures and other investors. The financing includes $7.5 million in debt from Cygnum Capital’s Africa Go Green Fund.

Ampersand says its commercial model helps drivers spend less to operate and take home more at the end of each day.

Green ‘boda bodas’

Kenya’s government wants 200,000 electric motorcycles on the road by 2025. Uber last year rolled out its first fleet of electric motorcycles. Roam, a Swedish-Kenyan company, opened East Africa’s largest production plant for building large fleets of electric motorcycles locally.

In Indonesia, Jakarta-based Swap snagged $22 million from Qiming Venture Partners and others to expand its own motorcycle battery-swapping service.