AFRICA: DFC extends $9 million credit for Ampersand’s electric motorcycles

By - Published on / Modified on

AFRICA: CFL grants $9 million credit for Ampersand's electric motorbikes ©Ampersand

Rwanda-based American start-up Ampersand has signed a $9 million line of credit with the U.S. Development Finance Corporation (DFC). The facility will allow the startup to deploy its fleet of electric motorcycles in Rwanda and Kenya.

Good news for Ampersand. The Kigali, Rwanda-based startup will benefit from a $9 million line of credit from the U.S. Development Finance Corporation (DFC). The credit facility represents the first electric mobility financing by DFC, an institution formed from the merger between the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and the Development Credit Authority (DCA).

Ampersand will use the credit facility to expand its fleet of electric motorcycles in Kenya and Rwanda. The startup finances and assembles electric motorcycles and puts them on the road for urban transport in East Africa. The company prioritizes the establishment of battery exchange stations. Unlike conventional motorcycle cabs in major cities in sub-Saharan Africa, this network allows drivers to swap batteries in lieu of fuel consumption at a gas station.

Converting 5 million motorcycle cabs to electric

The startup currently has 56 electric motorcycle drivers in East Africa. These “e-motorbikes” have already swallowed 2 million kilometers while performing more than 50,000 battery swaps since Ampersand launched operations in 2019. “We are delighted to have DFC on board with this landmark investment, which provides the impetus to electrify East Africa’s 5 million motorcycle cabs by 2030. DFC’s support underscores the viability and opportunity of investing in electric two-wheelers for mass market customers in the global South, as well as the importance of this market in achieving carbon neutrality,” said Josh Whale, Ampersand’s founder and CEO.

Read also- RWANDA: Ampersand raises $3.5 million to expand its fleet of electric motorbikes

The DFC provides funding through the Portfolio for Impact and Innovation (PI²) initiative. This facility is designed to invest up to $10 million in promising early-stage companies that otherwise have difficulty accessing financing due to their relative size, short track record and innovative approaches.

The CFL credit facility comes just months after a Series A fundraising round completed by the startup. The deal secured a $3.5 million investment from Ecosystem Integrity Fund (EIF), a Silicon Valley-based investment fund that finances companies that contribute to environmental sustainability.

Jean Marie Takouleu

More on the same theme

More on the same area

We respect your privacy

When you browse on this site, cookies and other technologies collect data to enhance your experience and personalize the content you see. Visit our Privacy Policy to learn more. By clicking "Accept", you agree to this use of cookies and data.

Newsletter AFRIK 21