Opibus, a Kenyan electric mobility startup, has raised US$7.5 million in equity and grant funding to help it expand its electric motorcycle and bus manufacturing operations.
Opibus, which was founded in 2017, is the main provider of locally designed and manufactured electric vehicles. Its vision is to develop reliable and cost effective products for the pan-African mass market.
Opibus has reduced customer CO₂ emissions by 94% and operational expenditures by more than 60% with existing customers in six African countries and several vehicles in various categories deployed. Existing heavy commercial vehicles, such as buses and trucks, can be converted to electric using its unique powertrain, saving money, resources, and giving the vehicles a second life.
Meanwhile, the motorcycle has been fully designed and tailored for the local use case, with a robust frame and dual swappable battery packs, providing a great product market fit and maximizing local content.
At One Ventures, a Silicon Valley fund, led Opibus’ funding round, with Factor[e]Ventures and Ambo Ventures also participating. It amounts to US$7.5 million, with $5 million in equity and $2.5 million in additional grants. The funds will be utilized to get ready for vehicle scale-up and manufacturing, which will start 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.