Spiro secures $50m debt funding from Afreximbank to expand electric vehicles in Africa

Spiro secures $50m debt funding from Afreximbank to expand electric vehicles in Africa

Spiro, an India-based electric vehicle company, has signed a $50 million debt financing deal with Afreximbank to expand its offering in its existing markets. The company operates in six countries: Benin, Togo, Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, and Ghana, and plans to expand to Cameroon, and Morocco this year. 

The company has spent the past two years mapping African cities and identifying potential markets. It claims to be the largest operator of electric motorbikes in Africa and has mostly focused on two-wheelers. 

It has 11,000 motorbikes and 300 battery-swapping stations in Benin and Togo where it first launched. It has deployed 800 motorbikes in Kenya since its September 2023 launch in September 2023 and 300 motorbikes in Rwanda. It plans to launch 1000 motorbikes in Uganda before the end of 2024. 

“We want to do 1 million units of 2-wheelers in five years,” said Kaushik Burman, CEO in Kigali where the African CEO Forum was held. 

Burman believes a sustainable electric vehicle environment integrates all the different facets of the industry. Hence, beyond building fast battery recharge and swapping stations, the company is investing money in Internet-of-Things technology, maps, and a ride-hailing application. 

“It is like Uber but it doesn’t need bikes. But we are making bikes and we are going to be like Uber with a ride-hailing app,” Burman said. In addition, the app will integrate a payment feature and be accessible to both drivers and riders. 

The technology features will also enable the company to trace the motorbikes and the batteries, and track usage. Behind the multilayered ride-hailing platform and technology features is a team of 50 engineers working out of the company’s innovation centre in Pune, India.

Investors have funded BasiGo, Roam, Max, and Spiro, to offer electric vehicles on the continent. With an estimated market size of$15.80 billion in 2024,  it is expected to reach $25.40 billion by 2029, data from Mordor Intelligence shows. 

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