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At One Ventures, Okra Solar & Roam Electric Investor, Raises $375M In New Fund

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At One Ventures, a venture capital firm founded by Tom Chi, with investments in Okra Solar and Roam Electric, has raised $375 million to support groundbreaking solutions with lasting impact, globally.

The $375M fundraise highlights the enduring demand for climate tech solutions around the world despite the global economic disruptions and a pause on venture capital.

Okra Solar, which provides IoT enabled hardware and software to last-mile energy companies recently closed $12M of fresh financing including debt and equity with $7.85M raised on equity led by At One Ventures, along with FMO, Susquehanna Private Equity Investments LLLP, Autodesk Foundation and King Philanthropies. The debt financing was provided by EDFI.

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According to Helen Lin, Partner, At One Ventures, “With the compounding effects of population growth and growing industrialisation, energy consumption on the African continent will increase disproportionately in the coming decades. The IEA forecasts that total power generation capacity in Africa is expected to double to 510 GW by 2030. There is no reason for this new power generation capacity to come from dirty fossil fuel power. We can skip that phase entirely and build it correctly from the start – clean, renewable, and suited to the needs of this market.”

Founded by Tom Chi, former Head of Experience and founding member at Google X. At One Ventures finds, funds, and grows companies that are using disruptive deep tech to upend the unit economics of established industries while dramatically reducing their planetary footprint. To date, At One Ventures has invested in 35 startups, including battery recycler Ascend Elements, de-extinction company Colossal Biosciences, and biodegradable packaging supplier Cruz Foam.

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At One Ventures invests in deep-tech startups catalyzing a world where humanity is a net positive to nature such as Okra Solar and Roam.

Roam recently launched the Roam Move, an electric shuttle bus fully designed and assembled in Kenya. As the first Kenyan company to introduce a locally manufactured electric bus, this launch builds onto the company’s continued work to achieve a sustainable public transit run by electricity.‍

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The all-electric bus, The Roam Move, is a zero-emissions shuttle bus fashioned for high performance through unmatched design, with each detail developed to provide an exceptional passenger experience.‍

Equipped with a 170 kWh battery pack, the electric shuttle bus can travel 200 km on a single charge. This extended range ensures uninterrupted service throughout the day, catering to the demands of urban commuters. Utilizing fast plug-in battery charging that ensures the bus is fully charged in less than two hours, the Roam Move builds on electric mobility’s legacy of being reliable. 

When fully loaded, the Roam Move electric shuttle bus has a range of 200km

‍Moreover, the Roam Move boasts operating costs that are 50% lower, attributed to its exemption from expensive maintenance and its streamlined construction with fewer moving parts, thereby minimising downtimes. These combined factors lead to substantial savings, amounting to as much as KES 35 per kilometre journeyed.‍

Designed with the needs of Kenyan commuters in mind, The Roam Move boasts an impressive array of features. The electric bus possesses a spacious interior with a capacity to accommodate 51 passengers, ergonomic seating, spacious aisles, and a whisper-quiet ride that enhances the passenger experience while reducing noise pollution in densely populated areas. The bus is also equipped with cutting-edge safety features, including collision avoidance systems, advanced driver assistance, and robust structural integrity.

Kenya’s Roam Electric, in July 2023, had the President of Kenya, His Excellency William Ruto, officially inaugurate its state-of-the-art electric motorcycle assembly plant, Roam Park marveling at the local production focus that the assembly line employed, the battery labs, and the company’s commitment to worker safety. 

The President Of Kenya, William Ruto, Accompanied By Key Government Officials Walking Through Roam Park During The Facility Tour

Overlooking the Nairobi National Park, Roam’s 10,000 square meter facility is the largest electric motorcycle assembly plant in East Africa, with an annual production capacity of 50,000 units that will be reached in a few years. The facility fulfils the shared vision to revolutionize urban mobility through electric motorcycles which offer a sustainable transportation solution for motorcycle taxis used in the boda boda and other logistics sectors.‍

Showcasing Of The Roam Air To The President And Key Government Officials During The Roam Park Facility Tour

As the President concluded the ceremony, he expressed confidence in the facility’s ability to drive innovation and foster economic resilience.

“I am proud to inaugurate Roam’s electric motorcycle assembly plant today. This facility showcases Kenya’s potential as a leader in clean transportation solutions in Africa. This initiative aligns perfectly with our national goals to reduce carbon emissions and promote clean energy alternatives. The assembly plant will not only contribute to our environmental goals but also foster economic growth by creating job opportunities and nurturing local talent in the automotive industry.”  said President of Kenya, His Excellency William Ruto

The President Expressing Confidence In The Facility’s Ability To Drive Innovation And Foster Economic Resilience

At One Ventures’ successful fundraising effort underscores the continued demand for climate tech solutions. As the world grapples with the urgent need to address climate change, innovative and sustainable technologies have become a key focus. With the influx of venture dollars in recent years, the climate tech sector has seen renewed interest and support, paving the way for transformative advancements in various industries.

While uncertainties persist in the global economy, At One Ventures’ substantial fund reinforces the resilience and potential of climate tech startups. By providing substantial financial backing, the firm aims to foster innovation and create a lasting positive impact on the environment and society as a whole.

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James Musoba
James Musoba
Studying Africa's startup and technology scene. I always look forward to discovering new exciting inventions and vibrant entrepreneurs.

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