ElectriFI invests in electric motorcycles from start-up Gogo in Uganda

27 05 2024 | 06:55Jean Marie Takouleu

For its first investment in the eco-mobility sector in Africa, the Electrification Finance Initiative (ElectriFI) chooses start-up Gogo Electric with an investment of $1.6 million.

A new investor is taking an interest in the electric mobility market in East Africa. The Electrification Financing Initiative (ElectriFI) is funded by the European Union (EU) and the US government’s Power Africa program. ElectriFI announces a $1.6 million investment in start-up Gogo Electric (formerly Bodawerk), which operates in Uganda with a focus on the rest of East Africa. The Kampala-based start-up not only assembles electric motorcycles locally, but also semi-automated Lithium-Ion batteries in a factory with a capacity of 60,000 units per year.

Gogo has also set up a battery exchange network to enable a “smooth” transition from gasoline-powered motorcycles to fully electric two-wheelers. The investment by ElectriFI, which until now has mainly financed access to electricity in Africa, “is a tremendous validation of our vision to revolutionize the transport sector in Uganda through sustainable e-mobility solutions. With this crucial support, we are now ready to accelerate our mission and make electric motorcycles a mainstream reality for Ugandans”, enthuses Jakob Hornbach, founder and CEO of Gogo Electric.

The start-up is responding to the urgent need to decarbonize “boda bodas”, the name given to motorcycle cabs in Uganda and several other East African countries. The Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) estimates that there are 150,000 motorcycle cabs in the Ugandan capital. The challenge is immense. To date, the start-up founded in 2017 has already commissioned at least 1,300 electric motorcycles and 65 battery exchange stations in Uganda.

The company estimates that investment in these less polluting means of transport offsets emissions of 3,200 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2) per year. A proven impact that is attracting many investors. ElectriFI joins the Mombasa, Kenya-based investment company Watu, which has made an equity investment to support the introduction of 1,000 Gogo electric motorcycles in Uganda.