Friday, December 3, 2021

Opibus EV Conversion Startup Raises $7.5 Million Funding

Opibus has announced it has raised $7.5 Million in funding. This was led by Silicon Valley fund At One Ventures and supported by Factor[e] Ventures and Ambo Ventures managed by former Google and Uber Executives. Opibus, Sub-saharan Africa’s leading electric vehicle manufacturer, has said the investment will help scale operations in electric motorcycle and bus manufacturing in 2022. The closed fundraising consists of $5M in equity and $2.5M in additional grants, totalling $7.5M.

Open Capital Advisors was the exclusive financial advisor and Qap Legal Advisors was the legal advisor to Opibus on this transaction.

Africa is one of the fastest-growing transportation markets globally, with a total market potential of $10 billion by 2030, and is largely untapped.

Founded in 2017, Opibus has over the years developed products in three main categories:

  • Electric motorcycles,
  • Electric public transport/commercial vehicles, and
  • Charging and energy solutions.

The company’s focus is on creating sustainable ecosystems for mass transport across Africa.

Currently, Opibus has customers across 6 countries in Africa. The company says its vision is to create reliable and cost-effective products which are designed for the pan-African mass market. The company says it has reduced customer CO2 emissions by 94% and operation expenditures by more than 60% with the several vehicles deployed in the different categories.

The company says it 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.

Opibus has been recognised for having produced the first truly African electric motorcycle and has been featured in the National Geographic alongside Volkswagen, Tesla and Rivian.

“We are proud to be backed by globally recognized investors providing a balance between deep-tech and emerging market expertise. 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,” said Filip Gardler, CEO and co-founder of Opibus. “The targets and objectives we’ve set for Opibus might seem bold, however, it is a mission that has become more important than ever. We have a responsibility to the coming generations and the earth as a whole.”

“Opibus is taking a fundamentals-first approach to delivering a compelling customer value proposition that is tailored for the African market. Their vehicles are half the cost compared to second-hand fossil fuel vehicles and perform better in harsh road conditions. We are excited to be supporting them in their growth phase to achieve true impact at scale.” Helen Lin, Principal At One Ventures.

“The African market for electric mass transit vehicles, able to operate in the special conditions of the continent is huge but the competition is so far very limited, so there is great potential for Opibus.” Andrew Reicher, Board Member and investor. “The Opibus team is smart, decent and incredibly hard-working so if anyone can realise this potential, it’s them. This is one of the most exciting impact investments I’ve ever made.”

“The electric mobility space in Africa represents a huge opportunity; not only to provide a better service at a lower cost to customers but also to reduce carbon emissions and avoid deadly exposure to particulate pollution on a local level.” Morgan DeFoort, Managing Partner Factor[e] Ventures.

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Dickson Otieno
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