RWANDAAmpersand Rwanda Ltd, Africa’s first electric mobility and financing company, has received a US$9 million credit facility from the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) to help boost its operations in Rwanda and Kenya.

This credit facility adds to Ampersand’s US$4 million financing from the venture capital fund Ecosystem Integrity Fund (EIF) and Total Energies in April.

By 2022, the Rwandan mobility startup hopes to produce “thousands of electric motorcycles” for sale on the Rwandan and Kenyan markets.

This is its first operation in Africa in the field of electric mobility by the American development finance institution.

“We are delighted to have the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) on board, for this investment which provides the necessary impetus to electrify East Africa’s 5 million motorcycle taxis by 2030,” said Josh Whale, CEO of Ampersand.

“The support from the DFC demonstrates the viability and possibility of investing in electric two-wheelers for mass market customers in sub-Saharan Africa.”

Launched in 2019, and headquartered in Kigali, Rwanda, Ampersand manufactures and finances electric motorcycles (‘emotos’ or ‘e-bodas’) that are less expensive, cleaner, and more efficient than the 5 million petrol motorcycle taxis that are currently in use across East Africa.

Ampersand also owns and operates a network of battery swap stations, which allow drivers to change batteries faster than they can fill up their gas tank. The motorcycles are assembled in Rwanda using parts imported from a variety of sources.

Ampersand claims to have given its fleet of 56 drivers with over 50,000 battery exchanges for over more than 2 million kilometers since its commercial launch in May 2019.

The startup’s fleet of 35 drivers and e-motos has travelled over 1.3 million kilometres since its commercial launch in May 2019, and over 7000 drivers are on the waiting list.

“We design and build the battery packs ourselves. Our fleet of connected batteries, vehicles and network of swap stations is also run on a proprietary software platform, which we created ourselves in Rwanda,” Josh said.

This deal is part of DFC’s first loan targeted towards electric mobility signifying increased investor confidence across Africa’srising e-mobility sector. The funds will go towards scaling the number of bikes on the road in Kenya and Rwanda. Ampersand’s Founder and CEO is Josh Whale.

This deal is the first investment by DFC into electric mobility and signifies increased investor confidence in the rising e-mobility sector across Africa. Ampersand assembles and finances electric motorcycles – popularly known as e-motors and e-bodas, which are less costly to buy and operate.

With 83% less carbon emissions, Ampersand is looking to replace the 5 million petrol-powered battery swap stations and battery fleets.

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