Swedish-Kenyan EV startup Opibus announces $7.5 million investment
Opibus, Sub-Saharan Africa’s leading electric vehicle manufacturer, announced that it has raised $7.5 million in funding led by Silicon Valley fund At One Ventures, further 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.
Opibus, which has existing customers across 6 countries in Africa, is the leading provider of electric vehicles designed and manufactured locally. Its vision is to create reliable and cost effective products designed for the pan-African mass-market. 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.
Retrofitting vehicles for electric power
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 was founded in 2017, and 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 is on creating a sustainable ecosystems for mass transport in Africa. Today, it is the largest manufacturer of electric vehicles in East Africa and was recently featured in National Geographic amongst VW, Tesla and Rivian. The company is also recognized for having produced the first truly African electric motorcycle. Filip Gardler, the CEO and co-founder of Opibus, said of the recent investment:
“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. 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 at whole.”