Developer Sean Mulryan backs ebike-maker Modmo with €5m investment

Ballymore Group founder leads fundraise for Irish-founded electric bike manufacturer

Irish electric bike maker Modmo has secured a €5 million investment from property developer Sean Mulryan. The financing brings to €8.7 million the total raised by the company over the past year.

Speaking to The Irish Times, Modmo founder Jack O'Sullivan said the partnership with Mr Mulryan could develop further with the Ballymore Group considering providing the start-up's ebikes for use at its various developments.

Ballymore, which was founded by Mr Mulryan and his wife Bernadine Mulryan in 1982, has more than 10,000 homes currently under construction across Ireland and Britain, and a further 15,000 in the pipeline. The company is partnering with Diageo to create a new neighbourhood at the Guinness brewery at St James's Gate in Dublin.

The developer has some 80,000 bike parking spaces planned across its developments with the potential that some of these would be reserved for Modmo’s “Saigon” ebikes.

Modmo is headquartered in Vietnam after Mr O’Sullivan relocated there in 2019 to establish the business. It has developed a high-spec ebike with a range of up to 200km, and comes with Bluetooth and GPS tracking.

The Saigon S model currently sells for €2,249 with the Saigon+ costing €2,999. The company received more than 1,000 pre-orders for the bikes, which started shipping last year. Just 250 were produced and delivered in 2021 due to supply chain issues, but Modmo plans to produce 12,000 in 2022.

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Mr O’Sullivan’s ambition is to have one of his ebikes in every household around the world.

Modmo is currently delivering to eight European countries with Germany making up 85 per cent of sales. The company plans to expand to North America with the opening of its first dealership in Vancouver, Canada, in March.

“Germany will still be our key market this year. It is pretty much the centre of the universe for ebikes sales and I expect it will represent about 60 to 70 per cent of sales in 2022,” Mr O’Sullivan said.

All of Modmo’s research and development as well as production is carried out in Ho Chi Minh City, in part for supply chain issues. The company employs 36 engineers in Vietnam with a further 10 in Dublin working in sales, marketing and support. Headcount is expected to exceed 100 in Ho Chi Minh City and to reach 30 locally this year.

“The future cities will have transport sectors powered predominately by electrification. Electric bikes are already playing a role and are fast becoming one of the most popular modes of urban transport throughout Europe,” Mr Mulryan said. “I fully support Modmo’s vision, and I am excited to contribute to making cities more clean, green, and enjoyable to live in.”