Australian electric bike startup Zoomo, formerly known as Bolt Bikes, has completed a successful funding round led by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) that will see $16 million in a combined equity and debt capital raise to expand into delivery vehicles.
The CEFC’s $7 million equity investment is being supported investment from South Korean venture firm Hana Ventures as well as existing investors Maniv Mobility and Contrarian Ventures. Venture debt from OneVentures and Viola Credit, completed the capital raise.
Bolt Bikes was founded in 2017 by ex-Deliveroo and Mobike executive Mina Nada and Michael Johnson but has been rebranded as Zoomo.
CEFC CEO Ian Learmonth said electrifying Australia’s light vehicle fleet is an crucial step in meeting Australia’s emissions reduction target, and that he believes Zoomo has global potential.
Australia’s transport sector produces 100 million tonnes of carbon emissions, accounting for 19% of Australia’s entire emissions, and the so-called last-mile sector focusing on food and goods deliveries is expected to grow by 78% by 2030, highlighting the opportunity to reduce carbon emissions in this sector.
“We welcome the exciting new branding that will transform Bolt to Zoomo, in what is a fresh start for an innovative Australian company,” Learmonth said.
“Critical to this is the development of technologies, systems, and policies that enable sustainable urban freight. Zoomo has an innovative business model and integration system that have the potential to deliver that on a global scale.”
Zoomo says with the rise of the gig economy as people seek second or alternative incomes boosting demand for nimble, affordable and low or zero-carbon delivery solutions, that it will use the funding to expand into other various electric delivery modes including parcel, mail and grocery deliveries.
“Zoomo is differentiated by our vertically integrated approach,” said Nada in a statement.
“We offer smart utility bikes through a physical network of service centres and microfinance capability all enabled by world-class software. The investment will allow us to expand our product lineup and physical presence.”
Zoomo is currently headquartered in Melbourne, Australia and New York, US. It has plans to expand its operations both here and overseas to Brisbane and Los Angeles.
“Expanding the Zoomo fleet to service Australia’s rapidly growing e-commerce sector can help drive down transport emissions by thousands of tonnes of carbon a year,” said Learmonth.
“Light Electric Vehicles (LEVs) are forecast to lead the charge in reducing emissions, with two, and three-wheeled EVs predicted to abate more carbon emissions than standard/four-wheeled EVs until 2040 and rapid design improvements mean that LEVs will increasingly outpace cars and vans to deliver meals, post, parcels and groceries, even over several kilometres.”
Mina Nada says he believes e-bikes are the future.
“We believe that the bike world is ready for disruption and that in five to ten years, LEVs will be the predominant form of transportation. Zoomo is taking the lead in this transformation,” Nada said.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.