Kenya’s Roam secures $24m funding to expand its e-mobility service across Africa


Kenyan electric mobility startup Roam, formerly known as Opibus, has secured a substantial boost of US$24 million in debt and equity funding. This funding injection is geared towards propelling the company’s expansion efforts throughout Africa.

Renowned for being a pioneer in locally designed and manufactured electric vehicles, the electric mobility company aims to deliver reliable and cost-effective products tailored for the pan-African mass market. As established in 2017 and rebranded in the recent past, Roam had previously garnered US$7.5 million in equity and grant funding in 2021.

This latest funding round is earmarked to intensify the production of locally crafted electric motorcycles and buses. The company’s mission is to revolutionize transportation across Africa with innovative, continent-specific products.

Kenya's Roam electric mobility company secures $24 million for African expansion

The financing structure comprises US$14 million from a Series A equity funding round, spearheaded by Equator Africa. Other notable contributors include At One Ventures, TES Ventures, Renew Capital, The World We Want, and One Small Planet, among various private and institutional investors.

Furthermore, the company has secured a significant US$10 million debt commitment from the United States government’s Development Finance Corporation (DFC).

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Roam’s investments and carbon milestones

The dynamic electric mobility startup diversifies its business segments with offerings like Roam Air (electric motorcycle), Roam Rapid (electric mass transit bus), Move (electric urban transit bus), and energy/public charging systems.

The freshly acquired US$24 million funding is earmarked for initiatives, including expanding local manufacturing capabilities in Kenya, scaling up production at the new 10,000 sqm Roam Park facility, investing in research and tooling for cost efficiencies, and optimizing local and global supply chain networks.

These investments align seamlessly with the company’s overarching objective of revolutionizing the transport sector across Africa by introducing effective and affordable electric vehicles. The company focuses on leveraging locally sourced parts and existing large-scale manufacturing infrastructure. Notably, it has successfully captured or mitigated over 120,000 tonnes of carbon emissions to date, underscoring its commitment to pioneering innovative solutions for electric transport in Africa.

In a statement by Rajal Upadhyaya, the CFO of the startup, “As Africa embraces the move toward electric vehicle technology, we are proud of our impact on the environment and livelihoods across Kenya and the wider continent. This funding is a critical step for Roam to achieve our strategic objectives in scaling up and increasing utility to our customers.”

Roam secures $24m funding to expand its e-mobility service across Africa

Equator partner Nijhad Jamal expressed dedication to creating a future characterized by efficient, accessible, and sustainable mobility. He highlighted the startup’s innovative electric mobility platform as a pioneering force in this transformation. Proudly offering catalytic funding, Jamal emphasized its role in empowering Roam to construct a cleaner and more equitable future for cities across Africa.

Driving sustainability: Roam’s business segments

At the forefront of sustainable transport solutions, Roam provides an ecosystem, which involves supporting infrastructure, fleet management software, and after-sales services. The startup tailors its solutions to meet market demands through distinct business segments:

  • The Roam Air: An electric motorcycle specifically crafted for Africa, with its roots in Kenya.
  • Roam Transit: Focused on the production of electric buses, catering to both Kenya and the broader African public transport sectors.
  • Roam Energy & Charging: Distributing readily available energy and charging products.
  • Roam Canopy: Offering customized software applications for fleet owners, business operators, financiers, and other stakeholders.

The startup’s diverse business segments emphasize its commitment to driving sustainability and meeting the unique demands of the African electric mobility landscape.

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