(Ecofin Agency) - Societe Generale has reportedly announced a $60 million loan to Spiro, a Benin-based startup that plans to use the money to expand its electric motorcycle leasing offers.
The French banking group Société Générale will reportedly loan $60 million to the Indian start-up Spiro, based in Cotonou, Benin. Spiro plans to use the funds to expand its range of electric motorcycles through leasing. The deal also includes the participation of GuarantCo, a financial institution specializing in local currency debt transactions with foreign capital.
Further terms and details of the transaction have not been made public. However, the financing should facilitate the acquisition of additional bikes by individuals and professionals, through installments. In Benin, where Spiro sells its products under the M Auto brand, many taxi-bike riders have adopted the solution. Also, the acquisition model is favorable for people interested in venturing into the activity.
The adoption of Spiro’s offer was also enhanced by the recent hike in prices of contraband fuel in the area. The offer includes a daily rental charge but also covers a repair guarantee and the availability of spare batteries. For now, it is unclear whether Société Générale's commitment is an initiative of the Benin subsidiary or part of a group strategy to enter the eco-mobility sector.
For Spiro, this is the second round of funding reported this year. Before this, it received $20 million from the Africa Transformation and Industrialisation Fund, an investment vehicle that is based in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, as part of an unspecified funding round.
As West Africa currently faces rising inflation and with various governments making efforts to reduce pollution, the electric motorcycle business could become an opportunity for a range of players, including financing structures.