ION Mobility secures US$3.3M to drive SEA’s 200M motorcycle users to use EVs, starting with Indonesia
ION Mobility, a smart electric motorbike startup in Singapore, has received US$3.3 million in seed funding from investors, such as Monk’s Hill Ventures, TNB Aura and Village Global.
500 Durians, the Southeast Asian unit of 500 Startups, besides AngelCentral syndicate, kipleX and Seeds Capital, also joined the round.
The funds will be used to launch its electric motorbikes in Southeast Asia, expand market presence and develop its R&D, supply chain and manufacturing capabilities.
ION Mobility aims to create an affordable and sustainable mobility for everyone by combining advanced software and hardware technology with human-centred design.
It wants to provide clean alternatives for urban users, so as to alleviate urban air pollution and lead the transition to electric vehicles (EVs) across Southeast Asia, starting with motorbike.
The plan is to convert the 200-plus million motorcycle users in Southeast Asia from petrol to electric to drive a sustainable future.
“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 Co-founder and CEO James Chan said: “We are committed to offering 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.”
The market opportunity for the motorbike industry in Southeast Asia is expected to hit US$8.53 billion by 2023. ION enters the market focusing on Indonesia, which has one of the biggest motorbike markets globally, with 2019 motorcycle sales at 6.38 million units a year.
ION plans to launch its first EV motorbike in Indonesia in 2021.
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.
“Southeast Asia has one of the largest and fastest growing number of motorbike users in the world. With a rising middle class and newer generation of riders craving for affordable, cleaner and relatable motorbikes, ION Mobility is poised to combine technical performance, modern design, and mobile connectivity to the masses,” said Kuo-Yi Lim, Co-founder and Managing Partner of Monk’s Hill.
“We at TNB Aura believe that the emergence of a local OEM champion is both necessary and imminent, with Southeast Asia representing 8 per cent of the world population yet 25 per cent of global motorbike demand. We are excited to be supporting strong repeat entrepreneurs James and Joel in bringing a home-grown mainstream EV motorbike offering to the market, starting with Indonesia,” said Charles Wong, Co-founder and Managing Partner of TNB Aura.
ION co-fouders Chan and Joel Chang (COO) have a track record in building and scaling tech companies in Southeast Asia. Prior to ION, Chan was a venture capitalist and entrepreneur at Neoteny Labs, Silicon Straits and Wecash.
Chang, an automotive industry veteran, co-founded Scorpio Electric and has previously led a BMW dealer group’s establishment and expansion across Asia.