14:37 | 13/04/2021 Society
(VEN) - Dat Bike, a Vietnam-based technology startup whose mission is to drive the mass adoption of green transportation, has raised US$2.6 million in a pre-Series A funding. The investment was led by Singapore-based Jungle Ventures, with participation from Wavemaker Partners, Hustle Fund and iSeed Ventures.
Electric motorbikes have long been seen as inferior to gasoline bikes since they are usually weak and low-ranged, delivering only half the performance of a typical gas bike. Dat Bike is different: its flagship model Weaver is the first and only electric motorbike in the Vietnam market that can rival gas bikes in power and range so that people can switch from gas to electric, without making compromises. The company offers one of the most powerful electric motorbikes in Vietnam with a 5,000W motor that can help accelerate from 0 to 50km/ h in just three seconds. This is not only three times more powerful than other electric motorbikes but also surpasses the performance of most traditional motorbikes. The charging time is also the fastest in the industry at just under three hours and its brake mechanism is also tailored to the traffic situation in the country.
“We want to transform the 250 million gasoline bikes in Southeast Asia to electric vehicles. We believe that if given a choice, everyone would pick electric over gas. It is just that the current electric motorbikes in the market lag behind in power and range, making it difficult for people to make the switch. The fresh funds will allow us to continue to innovate and create the most compelling electric motorbikes for Southeast Asia and the world.” - Son Nguyen - Founder and CEO of Dat Bike shared when speaking about driving more adoption for modes of sustainable transportation.
A Vietnamese native, Son gave up his high paying job in Silicon Valley in 2018 in search of something that can make a bigger impact to his home community - which translated into Dat Bike. Starting with learning to build bikes from scrap parts in his garage, Son then went back to Vietnam and assembled a team of young engineers who advanced from building just one bike per week in their early days to shipping out hundreds per month as of today. Dat Bike also launched its first physical store in Ho Chi Minh City last December, and is growing at 35 percent month-on-month.
About the investment deal, Amit Anand - Founding Partner of Jungle Ventures shared, “This investment into Dat Bike marks our first investment in the mobility sector which is rapidly getting transformed by technology. The US$25 billion two wheeler industry in Southeast Asia in particular is ripe for reaping benefits of new developments in electric vehicles and automation. We believe that Dat Bike will lead this charge and create a new benchmark not just in the region but potentially globally for what the next generation of two-wheeler electric vehicles will look and perform like.”
Son adds, “There are three big motorcycle markets in the world: China, India, and Southeast Asia. While both China and India already have dominant local bike manufacturers, Southeast Asia has no local motorcycle brand and the market is dominated by Japanese players. We want to change that, to become the motorcycle company of Southeast Asia. And electric is our way.”
Dat Bike’s flagship bike, Weaver, is available to purchase on their website and physical store in Ho Chi Minh City for as low as VND39.9 million (US$1,712). As a form of sustainable transportation - Dat Bike’s products contribute to less pollution, exhaust fumes and noise pollution compared to traditional bikes. Individuals could also purchase additional accessories such as leather storage bags, helmets and mudguards on Dat Bike’s website. From bike to gear, everything was designed and manufactured in Vietnam - by the people of Vietnam for Vietnam and the world.