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Revolutionizing Ghana’s Delivery Sector: The Strategic Investment in Wahu’s Electric Solution

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Revolutionizing Ghana’s Delivery Sector: The Strategic Investment in Wahu’s Electric Solution

Wahu is a Ghanaian e-mobility company that designs, manufactures, and sells electric bicycles (eBikes). Its goal is to provide clean and high-quality load-carrying transport to a broader range of people in Ghana’s delivery industry. This will help boost the development of the country’s e-mobility infrastructure while providing a reliable source of income for riders.

Founder and CEO Valerie Labi, an experienced impact entrepreneur, founded Cargo Bikes Africa in 2020, which merged with MANA Mobility and later became Wahu. She had noticed that both petrol and vehicles were prohibitively expensive in Ghana. “We don’t produce vehicles; we import them,” she explains. “We’re always either getting second-hand vehicles from Europe, or we are walking. So that became my calling: to introduce new mobility solutions for both men and women.

The Wahu bike’s unique design results from years of comprehensive research into local needs. “We started by converting second-hand bikes to electric bicycles and testing them in the communities to see how people responded to them,” Labi says. The team soon realized people needed a bike that could carry loads, eventually developing the model they have now. It features a fat tire with reinforced front and rear suspension, well adapted to rough roads. The bike also has a long rack for urban deliveries and two batteries so riders can use it all day without recharging.

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Wahu’s ride-to-own (RTO) model takes advantage of Ghana’s budding gig economy, allowing delivery riders to start working – and earning – immediately. Although they can purchase the bikes upfront, most choose to pay off the vehicles over 18 or 24 months. This model makes eBikes accessible to a much broader customer base while providing a revenue stream that supports the riders and ensures repayment.

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The company has also developed an app allowing riders to monitor their usage and make payments. Labi explains that Wahu wants the app to evolve into a portal connecting Ghana’s electric vehicle ecosystem to services such as charging infrastructure, maintenance, and EV-specific insurance.

A robust system is in place to recruit, manage, and monitor the riders and eBikes, with riders vetted for suitability and comprehensively trained to ensure proper use and maximized earning potential. Once they join the program, riders are given the eBike with all the requirements for delivery work: two batteries, safety gear, and insurance. Wahu also offers in-house repairs and maintenance, which they see as part of their R&D process; it enables them to track the main problems affecting the bikes and to implement changes in later iterations.

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Impact

Ghana is a rapidly urbanizing country with a growing population; the total population is expected to rise from 23 million in 2022 to 50 million in 2050, exerting pressure on the country’s infrastructure, economy, and environment. In this context, Wahu is tackling a number of interconnected problems: the company is providing accessible transport, reducing emissions, and promoting sustainable self-employment.

For gig delivery workers in Africa, traditional financing is often out of reach, and those who do acquire vehicles tend to use fossil fuel-based motorbikes for their work. Wahu’s customers spend significantly less on electricity than they use on petrol, and the company’s RTO model provides a clear path to asset ownership. Wahu is actively building an ecosystem for these workers, partnering with delivery platforms such as Bolt (Food & Courier) and Glovo to secure jobs for its riders. The company also collaborates with Allianz, an insurance company, to ensure they are adequately covered.

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Currently, Wahu imports parts and assembles them locally. They have developed an 18-month roadmap to localize production of 50% to 80% of their bikes. This would require them to import only batteries and motors.

Labi insists that production and design should be happening on the ground when it comes to mobility. “Africa is plagued with second-hand combustion engines, and the biggest issue for the continent’s transition to EVs is that we don’t have vehicles designed to our context,” she says. “Our Ghanaian engineers really understand what is needed in terms of mobility. It’s crucial for us as Africans to be able to design our vehicles and produce them locally at scale.”

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Smart Asset Financing™ with Wahu

Untapped has partnered with Wahu to finance their eBikes. The company’s RTO model, its plans for local manufacturing, and its partnerships with delivery platforms further enhance the business model’s scalability. “We trust in Valerie’s leadership and believe she has built a formidable team around her. The product is specifically designed for the continent and should hence scale sustainably. We look forward to accompanying the company on its journey of improving the prospects for gig workers in Ghana and the rest of West Africa,” said David Kleiterp, Untapped’s Head of Investments.

Wahu is soon set to launch in Togo and plans to scale up to the rest of West Africa. They hope their manufacturing capabilities and experiences can become a blueprint across the continent. Wahu has a strong team with diverse expertise in entrepreneurship, the automotive sector, and e-mobility in Africa. We have complete confidence in their ability to grow the company, and this partnership will help strengthen the mobility sector across the region.

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About Untapped Global

Untapped is reshaping profitable investing in emerging markets. We offer data-driven investment opportunities for global investors to finance high-growth businesses across emerging markets. Our innovative Smart Asset Financing investment model tracks the usage and revenue streams of productive assets in real-time, offering investors transparent, secure, and profitable opportunities to invest and grow community wealth in emerging markets.

 

 

 

 

Source: Untapped-global.com

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