Electric cars firm Roam gets Sh3.8bn financing


Participants board ROAM Move Shuttle bus during its launch at Green Park Bus Terminus in Nairobi on October 18, 2023. PHOTO | BONFACE BOGITA | NMG

Swedish-Kenyan electric vehicle firm Roam has raised $14 million from equity investors besides a $10 million debt commitment from the US government, taking its latest fundraising to $24 million (Sh3.8 billion).

The company says the funds will be used to expand its production of locally designed and assembled electric motorcycles and buses.

The equity investment was led by Equator Africa which was joined by At One Ventures and TES Ventures among others.

The debt will be sourced from the US government’s International Development Finance Corporation (DFC).

Roam said the funding will also be used to fuel its mission to revolutionise African transportation with innovative products specifically designed for consumers across the continent.

"As Africa embraces the move toward electric vehicle technology, we are proud of our impact on the environment and livelihoods. This funding is a critical step for Roam to achieve our strategic objectives in scaling up and increasing utility to our customers," said Rajal Upadhyaya, Roam CEO.

"We are committed to building a future with efficient, accessible, and sustainable mobility. Roam's innovative electric mobility platform is at the forefront of this transformation, and we are proud to provide catalytic funding that will enable Roam to build a cleaner, more equitable future for African cities," stated Mr Nijhad Jamal, Partner at Equator.

Equator is a venture capital firm operating in Nairobi, Lagos, London, and Colorado that targets technology-enabled, early-stage start-ups in energy, agriculture and mobility.

The funding comes just two months after the firm raised Sh1.2 billion ($7.5 million) in funding, the largest investment ever in an electric mobility company in Sub-Saharan Africa.

According to the firm, the funding signifies a major step forward for Roam, which designs, develops, and deploys electric motorcycles and buses specifically built for millions of consumers across Africa.

"DFC is proud to support initiatives like Roam that align with our commitment to fostering innovation and sustainability. This significant transaction will support the expansion of Roam's electric mobility offerings and resonate with our goals for a cleaner future," said James Polan, the Vice President of the Office of Development Credit at DFC.

Roam has customers across six countries in Africa providing electric vehicles designed and manufactured locally. Its business segments include Roam Air, Roam Rapid, Roam Move and energy and public charging systems.

“Funds will be invested in expanding local manufacturing capabilities in Kenya, scaling up production at the new Roam Park facility, investing in research and tooling for cost efficiencies, and streamlining local and global supply chain networks,” added Roam in the statement.

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