Zembo, a Ugandan-grown startup that assembles electric bikes and sells them to riders through a lease-to-own arrangement, raised €3 million, or about Shs12 billion, to grow its business.
The equity funding round, which was raised from DOB Equity and Mobility 54, will be used to produce about 2,000 electric motorcycles and support the development of over 60 charging and battery swapping stations across Kampala.
“We’re excited to partner with impact-focused institutions like InfraCo Africa, DOB Equity, and Mobility 54 to continue developing electric boda bodas and charging stations for our customers," Étienne Saint-Sernin, co-founder of Zembo, said.
"Zembo’s mission to improve incomes for Uganda’s boda boda riders while cutting air pollution is shared by our supporters and is a driving force for this partnership. We look forward to continuing to serve our customers and making sustainable mobility a reality in Uganda.”
Zembo’s model allows drivers to own an electric bike without necessarily owning or buying a battery since they simply swap a discharged battery for a fully charged one at one of Zembo’s battery swap stations and continue their journey.
Uganda’s national grid is fueled by 92% renewable energy and the addition of off-grid solar PV charging stations will also ensure that vehicles are truly reducing emissions.
“Zembo is offering a low-emission and cheaper transport solution to meet the growing demand for urban transportation," Saskia van der Mast, Co-CEO of Dutch private equity firm DOB Equity said.
"With an ambition to invest more in Uganda as well as in companies with a strong environmental angle, DOB is excited to partner with Zembo and work together with InfraCo Africa and Mobility 54 to scale the electric mobility industry on the continent.”