More than two years after arriving in Rwanda, the US startup Ampersand wants to increase its fleet of electric motorcycles for mobility in Kigali. As part of its development policy, the young company has raised $ 3.5 million from the Ecosystem Safety Fund (EIF). It is a US investment fund that finances companies contributing to environmental sustainability.
Headquartered in Kigali, Ampersand collects and funds electric motorcycles for the transportation of people and goods. In recent years, two- and three-wheel transportation has grown significantly in sub-Saharan Africa. This mode of transportation is often preferred for its speed in the face of traffic jams in African cities. But it is unemployment above all that drives young people to use motorcycles to transport goods and people. Today, motorcycles also help open up remote areas.
Ampersand rides on a motorcycle mobility explosion and focuses on sustainability. With the money recently acquired, the startup intends to develop its network of electric motorcycles and battery switch stations in Rwanda. The startup will launch hundreds of additional electric scooters on the roads and deploy dozens of additional battery swap stations. “The investment will also allow Ampersand to expand beyond Rwanda’s borders, and supply the company’s research and development arm, putting Ampersand on the path to electrifying the entire motorcycle fleet.” Taxis from East Africa by 2030, Indicates Ambrosand.
Since its inception, the startup has received support from StartupBootcamp, seed funding from FactorE Ventures in 2018, support from Rwanda Green Fund, Development Innovation Ventures from Usaid (USAID), Shell Foundation and FCDO’s Frontier in the UK. Technology Live Streaming Fund. The startup also received support from the New Zealand government, as well as a loan from the Blue Haven Catalyst Fund.
The young company currently has 35 electric motorcycles in circulation in Kigali, with several drivers. The startup is sparking a growing interest among professionals in this sector of activity, with at least 7,000 drivers on its waiting list.