Rwandan startup Ampersand raises $3.5M, finest-ever e-mobility investment in sub-Saharan Africa

Closing week, Ampersand, Africa’s first electric motorcycle company, secured a $3.5 million investment from the Ecosystem Integrity Fund (EIF). Here’s the finest ever e-mobility investment by a project capital fund in Sub-Saharan Africa and ought to aloof trace at a turning point in African electric transport.

Essentially based in Kigali, Rwanda, Ampersand assembles and funds electric motorcycles (‘e-motos’ or ‘e-bodas’). The company asserts that these electric bikes are more cost-effective and larger performing than the 5 million petrol motorcycle taxis in utilize precise via East Africa. Ampersand’s autos emit on the very least 75% less carbon than petrol motorcycles and nil tailpipe emissions. Ampersand additionally builds and operates a network of battery swap stations – allowing drivers to alter batteries faster than refilling a tank with petrol.

Since its industrial launch in Would possibly maybe maybe well also 2019, the company claims its instant of 35 drivers and e-motos personal lined over 1.3 million kilometres and over 7000 drivers are on their waiting checklist. EIF’s investment builds on the startup’s acceleration via StartupBootcamp, early-stage funding from Part[e] Ventures in 2018, beneficiant toughen from the Rwanda Green Fund, USAID’s Trend Innovation Ventures, Shell Foundation, and heaps of extra.

“We’re extremely joyful to personal EIF on board for this historic investment. We now personal the momentum to scale our operations to impress all of East Africa’s 5 million taxi motorcycles by 2030. EIF’s toughen further dispels the myth that electric transport will occur in rich nations first and trickle all the fashion down to increasing nations later, 2nd-hand,” stated Josh Whale, Founder/CEO of Ampersand.

Validation of Rwanda’s National Protection

This funding announcement is a boost to Rwanda’s nationwide policy guidelines, initiated in 2019, to eliminate gas motorcycles in favour of e-motos.

In 2020, Rwanda had 221,000 registered autos consisting of 52% motorcycles and 38% passenger autos, of which on the very least 30,000 are in Kigali.  A present EV ogle urged that the Rwandan Government ought to aloof design to severely change 30% of motorcycles, 8% of cars, 20% of buses and 25% of mini and micro-buses to electric vitality, by 2030.

Per a document by the Global Growth Centre (IGC), the worth of e-motos is larger than fossil gas-powered motos due to steep battery prices; but e-motos are more cost-effective to operate. The IGC chanced on that industrial e-motos working on sensible 170-190 kilometres per day are in a collection aside to mumble the excessive upfront tag of the battery with the savings in maintenance and working prices.

Per Ampersand the total tag of their battery swapping basically based totally totally e-moto operation is more cost-effective than fossil gas-powered motos despite the excessive electrical energy tariff in Rwanda, which is $27.7 per kilowatt-hour. Ampersand claims to make stronger the day-to-day earnings of drivers from the present $1.7 per day to $3.6 per day.


In Kampala, there are currently around 150,000 drivers incomes their day-to-day profits by driving a feeble boda boda, serving a population of roughly 2 million individuals. With Kampala being one among the most polluted cities on the earth, it’s anticipated that the development of Ampersand will result in a drastic discount in air air pollution.

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