Vammo aims to scale e-motorcycle battery swapping across LatAm

Vammo, the São Paulo-based startup that wants to scale electric motorcycle battery swapping in Latin America, has raised a $30 million Series A round to capture the growth in popularity of motorcycles across the region.

The startup, formerly Leoparda Electric, offers an e-motorcycle subscription that comes with unlimited access to battery swapping stations. Vammo says it has already found product market fit and a profitable business model, with customers clocking up 4 million kilometers driven and more than 150,000 battery exchanges in the 10 months since launch.

The equity and debt round, led by Monashees with participation from climate tech fund 2150 and Maniv Mobility, will help Vammo scale across Brazil in the short term. By 2025, Vammo aims to grow its customer base 50-fold and expand to other Latin American countries, starting with Colombia and Mexico.

Vammo’s model is similar to Gogoro’s, the Taiwanese company that has built and scaled a battery swapping network in Taiwan and is growing to a handful of other countries in Asia and the Middle East.

As with Gogoro, Vammo’s proprietary battery hardware and software is available across a range of models from different brands like Niu and Super Soco. The startup also built its own swapping cabinets, and currently has eight battery swapping stations located throughout the São Paulo that are operated by a Vammo employee. Vammo intends to deploy around 250 self-service swapping cabinets by 2025, where customers can switch out dead batteries for charged ones in less than two minutes. The company sees its cabinets becoming the standard throughout LatAm.

Jack Sarvary, Vammo’s CEO and co-founder, told TechCrunch the startup has seen “insatiable demand.”

“We can’t bring bikes into market fast enough,” he said.

Vammo says most of the startup’s early adopters are delivery professionals who drive more than 150 kilometers per day, but commuters who work in São Paulo’s major financial centers are also beginning to sign on as customers. Riders are seeing 20% to 40% savings from riding around gas-powered motorcycles, says Sarvary.

“We believe that, here in Brazil, this revolution in electric mobility will not happen from the top down, as happened in rich countries in Europe and the United States, with brands like Tesla,” said Billy Blaustein, Vammo’s chief operating officer, in a statement. “Here, it’s motorcycles, not cars, that will drive the transition to electric and transform the culture of mobility. Electric cars are still too expensive for the majority of the population, while our proposal offers a cheaper solution that can interest both millionaires and the low-income class.”

Vammo’s Series A brings its total public funding up to $38.5 million, after its seed round raised in September 2022. The funds will also be invested into R&D to continue developing Vammo’s battery technology, vehicle modifications and iterations on its cabinets.

The startup aims to set up a factory in Brazil’s tax-free zone of Manaus to assemble motorcycles, cabinets and batteries to keep manufacturing local and help turn Brazil into “a hub of innovation and technology for the electric vehicle market” and lead the transition to electric mobility in Latin America.

“Brazil’s energy matrix is one of the most renewable in the world, with truly sustainable energy generation,” said Blaustein. “In countries like this, we urgently need to electrify our fleets.”