Modmo, an Irish electric bike maker, has closed a €1 million seed investment round and intends to raise a similar amount in debt shortly.
Founder and chief executive Jack O’Sullivan relocated to Saigon to establish the company, which has developed an ebike with a range of up to 200km.
The company is largely staffed by engineers who manage production from raw materials to finished product.
"We successfully brought our first bike from concept to delivery in less than one year and we're now scaling up production to fulfil our pre-orders. We've massively grown the production team this year to bring more production to Vietnam. " said Mr O'Sullivan.
He told the Irish Times that the new investment round was led by angel investors and that he intends to raise a similar amount via debt.
The company has received more than 1,000 pre-orders for its flagship product, the Saigon+, which comes with an entry level price of €1,559. In addition to being able to travel up to 200km on a single charge, the ebike comes with bluetooth and GPS tracking. A second lower-cost version, the Saigon S, is also planned.
By producing locally and taking advantage of the EU-Vietnam free trade agreement, Mr O’Sullivan said Modmo can tightly control suppliers to ensure quality while keeping prices affordable. It also means the company has been largely sheltered from the Covid outbreak as Vietnam was quick to close its borders to travellers when the pandemic emerged.
“Although our initial production output has been slower, we began shipping our bikes in February of 2021, and now enjoy full control over the production of many of our components. And, by bringing production within 50km from our R&D headquarters, we’ve been able to innovate quickly while also massively reducing the carbon footprint of each bike by decreasing transport,” said Mr O’Sullivan.