Hero MotoCorp, Engine No. 1 join Gogoro’s PIPE, bringing it up to $285M

Gogoro, the Taiwanese company best known for its electric smartscooters and swappable battery infrastructure, has just added current strategic partner Hero MotoCorp, activist and impact investment firm Engine No. 1 and another investor to its PIPE investment, bringing the total funding to $285 million, up from $257 million.

The oversubscribed PIPE (private investment in public equity) round, which includes investors like Foxconn (Hon Hai), GoTo, Temasek, Generation Investment Management and others, comes to Gogoro in addition to the $345 million coming from Poema Global, the special purpose acquisition company that Gogoro is expected to merge with in Q1 2022.

“This additional funding, in addition to our recent F-4 filing, keeps us on track for closing in Q1,” Bruce Aitken, chief financial officer of Gogoro, said in a statement. “We have three investor groups in our PIPE. Existing investors who wanted to continue to support our vision, new strategic investors who can help us scale and new institutional investors. Adding Hero MotoCorp and Engine No. 1 continues to validate our strategy and plans. Hero MotoCorp is a key OEM and expansion partner and Engine No. 1 will provide strategic guidance on how environmental impact can drive economic value.”

In April last year, Gogoro partnered with Hero MotoCorp, a market leader in India and one of the world’s largest two-wheeled vehicle makers, to build a joint battery-swapping network in India. HeroMotoCorp will also launch electric two-wheelers using Gogoro technology under its own brand.

Gogoro currently has market dominance in Taiwan, accounting for over 63,000 e-scooter registrations in the country in the first 11 months of 2021. Aeon follows in second place with just over 7,000 registrations, and that company is actually a partner of Gogoro. But Gogoro has its sights set on globally scaling its battery swapping infrastructure, which is where partnerships with local vehicle makers like Hero and Chinese companies Yadea and DCJ come in.

“As we go tackle these large markets, we need as many friends on our side as possible,” Horace Luke, founder and CEO of Gogoro, told TechCrunch. “It’s one thing to say, ‘We will partner with you and use your technology,’ but it’s another to say, ‘We’re going to put money into your company to ensure that you have enough capital to actually light up my market.’ So having vehicle partners coming in is great because it makes the conversation so much easier.”

The capital will also help Gogoro ensure momentum as it scales into new markets. While the company has accumulated over $1 billion in revenue and over 450,000 battery swapping subscribers over the past five years, it’s still not yet profitable.

“We’re still not yet bottom line positive,” said Luke. “We still have a little way to go to build the scale that we need to in order to break even. Having more capital will help with that.”