KipleX makes maiden investment in ION Mobility
By Digital News Asia October 22, 2020
- Singapore-based startup to make smart electric motorbikes for SEA
- Hopes to incorporate Green Packet solutions into motorbike as well
KipleX, the new venture arm of Green Packet Bhd established to support local and regional entrepreneurs and startups in creating innovative solutions and business plans, has made its maiden investment in Singapore-based smart electric motorbike company, ION Mobility which announced on Oct 16 that it has raised US$3.3 million in seed funding.
Other notable investors include private and government institutional funds as well as corporate and angel investors such as Monk’s Hill Ventures, TNB Aura, Village Global, 500 Durians, AngelCentral syndicate, and Seeds Capital. The funding will be used to launch its electric motorbikes in Southeast Asia (SEA), expand market presence and develop its R&D, supply chain and manufacturing capabilities.
“There is no proven EV motorbike brand in Southeast Asia with products that can compel motorbike riders to join the inevitable electric revolution,” ION Mobility, cofounder and CEO James Chan said. “We are committed to offer riders across Southeast Asia superior alternatives to their petrol-based motorbikes with our next-generation, smart and connected electric motorbikes that are clean, aspirational and affordable.”
ION Mobility cofounders James and Chief Operating Officer Joel Chang have a strong track record in building and scaling tech companies in SEA. Prior to ION, James was a venture capitalist and entrepreneur at Neoteny Labs, Silicon Straits and Wecash. Joel, an automotive industry veteran, founded Scorpio Electric and previously led a BMW dealer group’s establishment and expansion across Asia.
“The market opportunity for the motorbike industry in Southeast Asia is expected to hit US$8.53 billion (RM35.4 billion) by 2023. The total addressable market is over 200 million petrol motorcycles that can be converted to electric to create a more sustainable future. ION Mobility will focus on Indonesia, which has one of the biggest motorbike markets globally, with 2019 motorcycle sales at 6.38 million units a year,” says Andrew Tan (pic, right), KipleX CEO. SEA as a region makes up 25% of global motorbike demand, despite having 8% of global population.
ION Mobility plans to launch its first smart electric motorbike in Indonesia in 2021 and Malaysia soon after that. In addition, the company is set to expand its team and operations across Singapore, Jakarta and Shenzhen, develop its in-house research and development capabilities, and build up its supply chain and manufacturing partnerships.
“The size of the market for a smart electric motorbike in Southeast Asia is tremendous. In addition, we would have the opportunity to work with ION Mobility to potentially incorporate Green Packet’s digital solutions to value add to the product. Hence, we are confident that our investment will yield high return on investment while also establishing product synergy with our suite of digital innovations. We will put the ‘smart’ into the electric motorbike,” Andrew says.
Andrew’s enthusiasm over ION Mobility’s prospects is shared by Monk’s Hill Ventures cofounder and managing partner Kuo-Yi Lim who notes that SEA is one of the largest and fastest-growing motorbike user base in the world with a growing appetite for affordable and cleaner motorbikes. “We are excited to be working with them in creating the next iconic startup to emerge from Southeast Asia.”