Kenya-based electric mobility startup Opibus has raised US$7.5 million in equity and grant funding to help it scale its operations in electric motorcycle and bus manufacturing.
Founded in 2017, Opibus 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 existing customers across six countries in Africa, and several vehicles in different categories deployed, Opibus has reduced customer CO₂ emissions by 94 per cent and operational expenditures by more than 60 per cent. Its 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.
The motorcycle, meanwhile, 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’ funding round is led by Silicon Valley fund At One Ventures, and further supported by Factor[e]Ventures and Ambo Ventures. It consists of US$5 million in equity and US$2.5 million in additional grants, totaling to US$7.5 million. The investments will be used to prepare for scale up and mass manufacture of vehicles, beginning next year.
“We are proud to be backed by globally recognised 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 industrialisation and welfare transitions of the region in modern time,” said Filip Gardler, chief executive officer (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 at whole.”
Helen Lin, principal At One Ventures, said Opibus was 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 the harsh road conditions. We are excited to be supporting them in their growth phase to achieve true impact at scale,” she said.