Sustainable mobility startup eWAKA receives 500,000 CHF loan to accelerate growth
eWAKA, one of Africa’s most promising sustainable mobility startups, has received strategic support from the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) Start-up Fund of the Swiss Confederation. SECO Start-up Fund has offered a 500,000 CHF loan that will support eWAKA’s 2023 plans to accelerate a growth strategy focused on providing innovative and sustainable mobility technology in Africa through the local production and promotion of eWAKA’ signature electronic bike known as the Shujaa.
Given the transportation sector is the second highest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, the urban logistics sector in Africa and across the globe urgently needs to adopt new technologies and business models to fight climate change, which disproportionately affects African countries. The effects are being felt in major economic value chains including the agriculture sector, Africa’s largest. By adopting more cost-effective and environmentally friendly vehicles into transportation fleets, the logistics sector can play a crucial role in helping Africa tackle climate challenges while providing significant economic benefits to a number of critical industry sector value chains.
The growth strategy built on several pilot projects including a Shujaa market introduction will enable eWAKA to expand to other parts of Kenya and East Africa in 2023. A key element of eWAKA’s growth plans is to secure additional financing options for independent delivery drivers.
Commenting on eWAKA’s 2023 growth strategy, Celeste Vogel, Co-founder, Chief Executive Officer & General Counsel of eWAKA said: “eWAKA’s unique value add proposition is the completeness of the ecosystem we offer in the space of last-mile transportation. As understanding localized constraints and variables are key to successfully deploying micro-mobility models and solutions, eWAKA conducted several pilot projects with target customer segments to further develop our product line. For 2023, eWAKA will pursue strategic partnerships to expand our customer base by adding greater financing options and aggressively promoting the Shujaa roll out in Kenya, targeting the B2B sector as well as independent drivers.”
Susanne Grossmann, the manager of SECO Start-up Fund commented on eWAKA financing facility: “After a robust selection process, we are pleased to offer eWAKA a loan for executing their business model in Kenya. We welcome the contribution to local production in the e-vehicle space and we hope that eWAKA will set a successful example for efficient, climate friendly traffic systems in African cities that meet the mobility needs of the continent.”
2022 was a watershed year for eWAKA. Leveraging key customer segment insights and expanding local production capabilities, eWAKA is poised for growth in 2023 with a full product line for multiple customer segments offering flexible rental options, subscription and purchase plans to meet commutes, personal well-being and net-zero targets.
eWAKA Shujaa is designed specifically for deliveries. The bike has a front rack that can hold 15 kg and a back rack that can take 50 kg, a total load capacity of 65 kg. It comes standard with one battery and can be fitted with a second optional battery for a total range of up to 120 kilometers. The Shujaa is easy to start using, less expensive to access (no need for a driver’s license and easy to manipulate) and maintain while offering comparable utility.
eWAKA Kickscooters are built for sharing and made of robust and top-range materials. On offer is product training, after-sales services for customers and smart mobility software to drive efficiency, insights, and uptime of the vehicles. With eWAKA’s fleet management platform, live data is collected for fleet owners to improve remote management, vehicle tracking, service history and other safety controls.
eWAKA motorcycles are built for city and rural commutes as well as last-mile delivery. The vehicle, its battery-swapping ecosystem as well the retrofit kits for converting internal combustion engine motorcycles, are well-tested.