RWANDA: Kigali-based Startup Ampersand Secures The Largest Investment In Electric Mobility In The East African Region.


April 16, 2021, 1:04 a.m.

Ampersand, a Kigali-based startup has obtained funding of $3.5 million from Ecosystem Integrity Fund (EIF) to scale up its operations, the largest investment in electric mobility in the East African region.

Ampersand builds affordable electric vehicles and charging systems for the five million motorcycle taxi drivers in East Africa. Its vehicles produce at least 75% less carbon than petrol motorcycles and zero tailpipe emissions.

“We’re thrilled to have EIF on board for this historic investment. We now have the momentum to scale our operations to electrify all of East Africa’s five million taxi motorcycles by 2030. EIF’s support further dispels the myth that electric transport will happen in rich nations first and trickle down to developing countries later, second-hand,” said Josh Whale, founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Ampersand.

The investment will allow the startup to expand its network of electric motorcycles and additional battery stations in Rwanda. Since the commercial launch of its machines in 2019, it has built up a fleet of 35 electric motorcycles with as many drivers. Also, Ampersand plans to invest in its research and development arm and continue to expand outside of Rwanda into the East African region.

In 2018, the company announced the testing of four models of motorcycle cabs that are more environmentally friendly, less expensive, and have rechargeable batteries.

“We have confidence in the Ampersand team, and we believe the time is right,” said James Everett, managing partner of EIF. “We are very excited to partner with Ampersand as the company scales in Rwanda and expands across East Africa. We believe that electrifying two and three-wheeled vehicles in developing countries represents one of the low-hanging fruits for climate change mitigation globally, and can have a profound positive impact on urban air quality.”

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Verny loves to write poetry, fiction and quotes. Her love for writing landed her in journalism. She loves gadgets and travelling to explore new places.