Kenyan mobility start-up, eWAKA, has received deliberate support from the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) Start-up Fund of the Swiss Confederation.
The fund offered a 500,000 CHF ($537596) loan that will support eWAKA’s 2023 plans to hasten a growth strategy focused on providing innovative and sustainable mobility technology in the African continent through the local production and promotion of the firm’s signature electronic bike known as the Shujaa.
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, with 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 Kick-scooters 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,” noted the start-up.
The logistics industry can significantly contribute to Africa’s efforts to address climate challenges by incorporating more economical and environmentally friendly vehicles into transportation fleets. This will also have a significant positive impact on several important industry sector value chains.
In a statement via its website, the venture said, “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 is proportionate affects African countries. The effects are being felt in major economic value chains including the agriculture sector, Africa’s largest.”
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.
Co-founder, Chief Executive Officer and General Counsel of eWAKA Celeste Vogel noted that the venture conducted several pilot projects adding that, “For 2023, eWAKA will pursue strategic partnerships to expand our customer base by adding greater financing options and aggressively promoting the Shujaa rollout in Kenya, targeting the B2B sector as well as independent drivers.”
Susanne Grossmann, the manager of SECO Start-up Fund noted that the contribution to local production in the e-vehicle space is welcomed and that eWAKA can serve as a successful model for effective, environmentally friendly traffic systems in African cities that fulfill the continent’s transportation needs.