Shift EV, an electric mobility startup based in Egypt, has raised an undisclosed Series A round led by previous investors Union Square Ventures, Algebra Ventures, Wamda, and first-time investor Oman Technology Fund (OTF).
Currently, the startup has 2000 vehicles in the pipeline to convert to their electric solution. Shift intends to onboard additional clients and expand its operations across other markets in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region using the newly acquired funds.
Shift EV, founded in 2020 by Aly El Tayeb and Amr Helmy, aims to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicle (EV) batteries for commercial vehicles while also catering to Egypt’s and other emerging markets’ sustainability.
“There are around 25 million commercial vehicles plying on streets across diverse emerging markets. From bicycles, pickup trucks, minivans, to small trucks etc. There is a massive multi-million market that awaits the EV disruption,” said Aly El Tayeb, CEO and co-founder of Shift EV.
Shift EV converts existing fuel-run vehicles into electric ones using its in-house designed and manufactured batteries. Late last year, the startup delivered its very first fleet of electrified vehicles.
“The pull factor about these batteries is that they are customisable and fit existing vehicles. Instead of making a battery for every vehicle we convert, we can make a few changes to the battery modular using the same design that we built from scratch [according to the client’s preferences],” said El Tayeb.
Besides the environmental benefits, EVs have lower operating and maintenance costs compared to internal conventional combustion (ICU) engine vehicles.
“Not only does it reduce carbon emission, switching to EVs results in 70 per cent reduction in maintenance and operational costs,” he added.
A year after its founding, the startup managed to raise a Seed round to set up its manufacturing facility, grow its team and double down on software products.
Recently, Shift developed a real-time sensor data connectivity system that integrates into its vehicle through a dashboard.
“From our side, this enables us to show customers all information about car performance and battery pack remotely. Meanwhile, drivers can have complete visibility into their vehicles and control vehicle performance parameters,” El Tayeb further elaborated.
In Egypt, the majority of deliveries are transported via internal combustion engine vehicles. Shift looks to solve last-mile mobility challenges by helping fleet owners to go electric and therefore reduce its overheads, all while cashing on the rising demand for last-mile delivery services.Shift currently caters to e-commerce, last-mile delivery, and distribution companies.
“The reason why we chose to go after the last mile market is that most of the players in the market are run by large corporations that have strong mandates to cut their carbon emissions. Also, the efficiency is better manifested in last mile logistics space since vehicles travel short distances of less than 200 kilometers loading capacity of less than two tonnes. Moreover, companies utilise warehouses in their operations, making charging so much easier,” he added.