Ola Electric Mobility buys the 'Dutch Tesla on two wheels'

01 June 2020 Consultancy.in 3 min. read

As it makes a foray into the electric two-wheeler market, Indian mobility platform Ola Electric Mobility has acquired Dutch electric scooter player Etergo.

The deal between the two parties was brokered by Drake Star Partners, a global financial advisory firm that set out to find a global growth partner for Ertego – a fast growing Netherlands-based provider of electric scooters.

Drake Star Partners has previously cemented a cross-border deal in the electric two-wheeler segment, according to a statement by the firm, giving it a strong foundation with which to conduct this deal. Ola Electric emerged as a strong partner in this regard, with the deal closing late last week.

Backed by Softbank, Ola Electric Mobility is a ‘unicorn status’ venture launched last year by Indian ride-hailing platform Ola, to carry on the company’s objective of facilitating the launch of 1 million electric vehicles (EVs) on Indian roads by 2021.

‘Dutch Tesla on two wheels’ joins Ola Electric Mobility

The Indian government’s electrification drive has been strong, although slow growth in consumer demand has caused some resistance from the automotive sector. India appears to be falling behind its electrification targets as a result, while similar inertia is visible in the global market as well.

Ola Electric is looking to bridge this gap. The firm is coordinating between vehicle and battery manufacturers, city councils, drivers and a range of other stakeholders to help drive the electrification of mobility, not only in India but across the globe.

The two-wheeler market

Next on the agenda appears to be the electrification of the two-wheeler market. Founder and Chairman of Ola Electric, Bhavish Agarwal, pointed out that nearly twice as many two wheelers are sold across the globe every year when compared to cars, indicating the segment’s importance in the global electrification drive.

The Etergo acquisition will help Ola Electric gain momentum in this market, both in India and the Benelux, and globally. Etergo was founded in 2014 as a manufacturer of electric two-wheelers, best known for its flagship product the AppScooter. Popularly branded as “the Dutch Tesla on two wheels,” the AppScooter is an electric two-wheeler that uses specialty batteries, giving it remarkable range and acceleration.

The firm has global ambitions, and fits well within Ola Electric’s mission to drive the global transition to electric verhicles. “I am very excited to welcome the entire Etergo team to Ola Electric and look forward to working closely with them to build towards our vision of making electric mobility, a reality at scale,” said Agarwal.

Bart Jacobz Rosier, who co-founded the firm and is also CEO, said that Ola Electric is the right fit for its ambitions, stating: “Ola is one of the world’s most admired mobility companies and has led the way for many innovations in the space, including its bold ambition for electric mobility. We are looking forward to joining Ola Electric and together, reimagining electric mobility to transform the way the world moves!”

At Drake Star Partners meanwhile, the firm’s dealmakers describe this deal as a transaction “with winners only”. Looking ahead, the consultants expect further consolidation in the industry – “electric mobility is unstoppable,” said Frank Verbeek, Managing Partner of Drake Star Partners and head of the firm’s Amsterdam office. Verbeek was Etergo’s lead advisor, supported by colleagues Robert Wilhelm, Thomas Smal and Nicolas Magnus.