Enter your email address below and subscribe to our newsletter

Ampersand Secures $19.5m in Funding to Expand Electric Motorcycle Fleet

By Oluchukwu Ikemefuna

Share your love

According to statistics, the global renewable energy market is expected to make about $2281.00 Billion by 2030. This is a testament to the fact that the energy sector is one of the most thriving sectors of the century. In line with this trend, Ampersand, a Rwandan-based electric transport energy company, has recently secured a significant funding deal from well-known investors.

This funding positions Ampersand to introduce e-motorcycles, offering a more affordable and eco-friendly alternative to traditional petrol bikes. The shift to electric motorcycles not only promises savings of over 30% on fuel costs but also contributes to a substantial reduction in carbon air pollution.

With this financial support, Ampersand is set to expand its operations, making its cleaner transportation solutions more accessible to a broader audience. This expansion is particularly beneficial for motorcycle taxi drivers, who constitute the primary users of Ampersand’s services.

In this post, we’ll be focusing on the details of Ampersand’s journey, exploring the details of the substantial funding it secured and the positive impact it aims to make in the world of sustainable and affordable transportation.

What is Ampersand?

Ampersand is an electric transport energy company based in Africa with roots in Kigali, Rwanda. The company was co-founded by Josh Whale and Alp Tilev, and was officially launched in May 2019. 

Ampersand made waves by introducing e-motorcycles, marking a significant step toward sustainable transportation. The company has its base in Rwanda and Kenya, where the company operates 32 battery swap stations, catering to 1,700 electric motorcycle riders.

With a fleet now exceeding 1,000, Ampersand aims to surpass 10,000 by late 2024. The company’s battery fleet proudly manufactured in Africa, stands out globally for its cost per kilometer and remarkable uptime in light-electric vehicles. 

Ampersand’s main aim is to serve one million vehicles daily by 2030. This mission aligns with their broader vision of contributing to a green economy and fostering the creation of environmentally friendly jobs.

Due to the company’s innovative efforts, it earned a spot in the Start-Up Energy Transition’s 2023 SET100 List and received the 2023 Secretary of State’s Award for Corporate Excellence in Sustainable Supply Chains. These accolades underscore the company’s commitment to pioneering solutions in the electric vehicle space while making a positive impact on the global push for sustainability.

Read also: The Gen F Entrepreneur in Residence Studio: $250, 000 for Your African Technology Start-up Company

Why Is Ampersand Receiving This Funding?

This infusion of capital serves three primary purposes for Ampersand. 

  • It aims to increase the production of electric motorcycle batteries, ensuring a more robust supply to meet the growing demand.
  •  The funds will be utilized to expand the existing battery swap station network, providing convenient and accessible charging options for electric motorcycle users. 
  •  Ampersand plans to accelerate research and development efforts, specifically focusing on battery technology, software enhancements, and improvements to the battery-swap system.

Since its inception in 2016, Ampersand has showcased a commendable track record. Being the first Company to deploy electric motorcycles in Africa in May 2019, it has covered an impressive 180 million kilometers over the past four years. 

This achievement has resulted in a noteworthy reduction of 8,000 tons of carbon emissions. Ampersand currently serves 1,700 electric motorcycle riders with about 140,000 monthly battery swaps in key locations like Kigali and Nairobi. The company has contributed significantly to the adoption of eco-friendly transportation in the region.

Read also: 20 Technology Trends in 2024 that will Blow Your Mind Away

Which Company is Funding Ampersand?

Ampersand’s resilience and success stem from a robust business model, advanced technology, a customer-focused approach, strong unit economics, and a competitive edge, fostering support from both existing and new investors despite the challenges of the current fundraising landscape.

 The alignment of Ampersand’s mission with Africa’s broader green transition further boosted investor confidence. Due to this, the company secured an impressive $19.5 million in funding.

Ampersand’s latest financial round was headed by the Ecosystem Integrity Fund (EIF), Acumen and Hard Edged Hope Fund, Alphamundi VC, Societe Petrolieres du Rwanda, TotalEnergies, and Beyond Capital Ventures. Also, a substantial $7.5 million debt facility was extended by Cygnum Capital’s Africa Go Green Fund.

This collective backing shows investor trust not only in Ampersand’s business model, technology, and customer-centric approach but also in the company’s commitment to driving the green transition in Africa. The investor’s unwavering support mirrors their dedication to propelling Ampersand’s growth as a key player in advancing electric transportation in East Africa.

James Everett, Managing Partner of the Ecosystem Integrity Fund, expressed delight in continuing support for Ampersand during its transition to a growth-stage company. This reinforces Ampersand’s pivotal role in leading the development of electric transportation, particularly in East Africa.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is Ampersand focusing on electric motorcycles?

Ampersand is dedicated to promoting sustainable transportation solutions. Electric motorcycles offer a cleaner and more eco-friendly alternative to traditional gas-powered vehicles.

What sets Ampersand apart from other electric motorcycle companies?

Ampersand distinguishes itself by its commitment to the electric motorcycle market in emerging economies. The company focuses on providing affordable and practical electric transportation solutions, catering to the unique needs and challenges of these regions.

What is the significance of Ampersand securing $19.5 million in funding?

mpersand’s successful funding round of $19.5 million is a significant milestone as it provides the company with substantial capital to expand its electric motorcycle fleet. This financial boost will enable Ampersand to accelerate its growth, enhance its infrastructure, and contribute to the widespread adoption of electric motorcycles.

Conclusions

The recent infusion of $19.5 million in funding marks a significant milestone for Ampersand, propelling them into an exciting phase of expansion and innovation in the realm of electric motorcycles. This financial boost not only underscores the growing interest and confidence in sustainable transportation solutions but also positions Ampersand to make substantial strides in enhancing its electric motorcycle fleet.

References 

Recommendations

Share your love
Blessing Ukibe
Blessing Ukibe

Medical Student at Nnamdi Azikiwe University|Tech content expert at Silicon Africa Technology|Lover of fun books and fun fun ☺️

Articles: 148

Newsletter Updates

Enter your email address below and subscribe to our newsletter

Stay informed and not overwhelmed, subscribe now!