Ampersand, a Kigali-based electric motorcycle company, has received US$3.5M from the Ecosystem Integrity Fund (EIF) to help it expand its electric motorcycle and swap station network in Rwanda.
The transaction is the first ever e-mobility investment by a venture capital fund in Sub-Saharan Africa, and it represents a watershed moment in global electric transportation.
“We are ecstatic to have EIF as a partner in this historic investment. Ampersand’s Founder/CEO, Josh Whale, says, “We now have the impetus to scale our operations to electrify all of East Africa’s 5 million taxi motorcycles by 2030.”
Ampersand’s fleet of 35 drivers and e-motos has traveled over 1.3 million kilometers since its introduction in 2019. The EIF’s investment follows the startup’s acceleration through StartupBootcamp and early-stage funding from FactorE Ventures in 2018, as well as generous support from the Rwanda Green Fund, USAID’s Development Innovation Ventures, Shell Foundation, the UK FCDO’s Frontier Technology Livestreaming fund, the New Zealand Government, and a loan from Blue Haven Initiative’s Catalytic Fund.
Ampersand will use the funds to expand beyond Rwanda’s borders and fuel its research and development arm, putting it on track to electrify East Africa’s entire motorcycle taxi fleet by 2030.