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Clean Transport

Spiro Secures $63 Million Financing Solution To Expand Its Fleet Of Electric Motorcycles, Batteries, & Swap Stations

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Spiro, a leading electric motorbike manufacturer and clean energy provider in Africa, has so far deployed over 9200 electric motorbikes across Benin, Togo, and Rwanda. Spiro says its riders have driven 80 million kilometers of emission-free journeys and have also done 2 million battery swaps, and in the process have reduced carbon emissions by 4000 tons in its first year. Spiro wants to accelerate the rollout of more electric motorcycles along with the associated infrastructure, including batteries and battery  swapping stations.

To help facilitate this expansion, Spiro has partnered with Societe Generale and GuarantCo, part of the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG), to significantly expand its fleet of electric motorbikes, alongside the associated batteries and swap stations, in Benin and Togo. This expansion will be backed by a XOF 37.8 billion (US$63 million) financing solution, with a first tranche of XOF 21 billion (US$35 million), from Societe Generale, secured by a 70% partial credit guarantee from GuarantCo.

This major transaction, in line with green loan principles, propels Spiro’s mission to tackle the climate emergency, enhance public health, and stimulate economic growth in Africa. Spiro aims to replace conventional combustion engines with clean electric alternatives, significantly reducing CO2 emissions and air pollution. Spiro’s mission is to address the climate emergency, improve public health, and stimulate economic growth in the region by replacing fossil fuel-based vehicles with clean, efficient, and affordable electric alternatives. With a growing presence across Benin, Togo, Rwanda, and Uganda, Spiro says it is at the forefront of sustainable transportation and the e-mobility revolution in Africa.

Besides the much needed reductions in emissions associated with internal combustion engine motorcycles, Spiro says by switching to electric motorcycles, the riders in this industry can save up to $360 per year. Most of the savings come from reduced fueling and maintenance costs. This will go along way in improving the riders income, savings, and general welfare.

Spiro CEO Jules Samain said: “This pivotal funding from GuarantCo and Societe Generale enables us to step up our commitment to decarbonise transportation. By adding at least 15,700 clean electric motorbikes, over 31,400 electric batteries and more than 1,000 swap stations to our existing fleet, we expect to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Furthermore, this venture allows us to generate numerous operational, maintenance, and technical support jobs, fostering local employment with a strong focus on gender inclusivity.”

Mohamed Fadel Kane, MD Structured Finance Societe Generale Group, said: “Consistent with our “raison d’être” at Societe Generale—to co-create with our clients a more sustainable and prosperous future by delivering innovative, responsible financial solutions—we’re proud to propel the evolution of sustainable mobility in Africa. With the successful backing of SPIRO’s significant initiative, we’re demonstrating our steadfast commitment to shaping the future of finance in alignment with global sustainability goals. These clean electric motorcycles are not just a stride towards reducing our environmental impact; they promise to stimulate economic growth in Togo and Benin and to fulfil the pressing mobility needs of Africa. The project’s financing was significantly strengthened by our partner GARANT CO. This successful partnership testifies to our ability to forge robust alliance, reinforcing our commitment to deliver sustainable, high-impact transformation.”

Layth Al-Falaki, CEO of GuarantCo, said: “We are delighted to have closed this transaction with Spiro, and to have further cemented our strong relationship with Societe Generale. This landmark electric mobility project will contribute to improving the environment to the benefit of the people of Benin and Togo and will directly contribute to addressing the challenge of providing affordable, clean vehicles in the two countries. In addition, it will help transform the market through wider demonstration and replication effects.”

Abdoul Aziz Ba, COO of ATIF, adds: “This transaction is an important milestone for Spiro, and as a sponsor we strive to channel global private capital and expertise to companies operating in Africa. It is very important also to provide growth capital to our investment portfolios via innovative structures with local and international financial investors. As such the financing close with Societe Generale and GuarantCo is a great partnership to promote clean energy and sustainable growth in Africa.”

At least one hundred new jobs for the installation of charging stations and technical support will be created through this project. Moreover, an additional 3,710 operations and maintenance roles are expected. Spiro maintains a strong commitment to gender equality, aiming for at least 30% of these roles to be filled by women, and offering technical and leadership programs to enhance their skills.

The expansion plan contributes directly to the achievement of Sustainability Development Goal (SDG) 11.6: Reduce the environmental impact on cities and SDG 13: Limit and adapt to climate change. Spiro, in partnership with Societe Generale and GuarantCo, will continue to lead the charge in e-mobility, contributing to a cleaner, healthier, and more sustainable Africa.

This kind of deal is a major shot in the arm for the nascent electric motorcycle industry on the African continent. There are now well over 100 startups in various countries around the continent that are working to help transition the motorcycle taxi industry to electric. Many have been running several pilot programs over the last four years and are now only starting to transition from pilot phase to early stage commercial production runs. But this will require hundreds of millions of dollars to get there. Results from these pilots across the continent show there is a larger addressable market and that electric motorcycles are a viable alternative to the traditional internal combustion engine vehicle used in this sector. Now is the time for serious capital to be deployed in this industry across the continent and so it is really good to see transactions like these in the US$60 million range.


Images courtesy of Spiro

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