Electric vehicle dealer Spiro taps $50m loan at Afreximbank

Monday May 20 2024

Spiro electric motorbikes during their launch at Mombasa's Mama Ngina Waterfront, Kenya on September 1, 2023. PHOTO | FILE |NMG


Pan-Africa electric vehicles company Spiro, which has operations in Kenya, has tapped a $50 million loan from the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) to expand its operations on the continent.

The agreement was signed in Kigali this week during the Africa CEO Forum, said the firm in a statement. Spiro sells electric motorcycles.

This comes months after the company also secured a $63 million from Societe Generale in August last year to expand its footprint in Togo and Benin.

Spiro, which began operations in 2019, currently operates more than 600 stations for swapping EV batteries in Kenya, Benin, Togo and Rwanda.

Read: Kenya bets on electric mobility to protect ageing system

“The $50 million debt facility will significantly enhance our operational capabilities and help us expand our footprint to more African countries,” said Spiro CEO Kaushik Burman.


Spiro is keen to expand its footprint in Kenya, and in February announced a deal with oil marketing company Petrocity that will see the EV firm set up battery swapping stations at the latter’s outlets.

“The future of transportation lies in the use of electric vehicles and as demand for clean energy solutions soars, support towards companies like Spiro is crucial for accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles and reduction of carbon emissions,” said Afreximbank Executive Vice President Intra-African Trade Bank Kanayo Awani.

This comes at a time EV firms both within Kenya and across Africa have been racing to raise funding through a mix of debt and equity in recent years to fuel their expansion.

For instance, Roam, formerly Opibus, in February raised $24 million in a Series A round, including up to $10 million debt commitment from the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), to scale the production of electric motorcycles and buses.

In March, BasiGo, another leading local EV firm, raised $3 million in equity funding from CFAO Group, a mobility industry firm which is wholly owned by Japan-based Toyota Tsusho Corporation.

The EV firms have been establishing local assembly lines to meet the steadily growing demand for electric motorcycles, passenger cars and buses.

They have also been setting up charging spots in key parts of Nairobi with an eye of establishing in other major cities to plug a deficit that has been cited as one of the major hurdles inhibiting the uptake of e-mobility.