Singapore fintech GEKO acquires EV motorcycle maker SWAG EV

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Singapore-based fintech GEKO has entered a deal to acquire all of Singapore electric vehicle (EV) motorcycle brand SWAG EV for an undisclosed sum, GEKO said in a press release dated 22 December.

GEKO, which provides microfinancing, is focusing on hire-purchase financing to buyers of EV motorcycles in Thailand, offering e-KYC — or know your customer — credit scoring by artificial intelligence (AI), installment plans and carbon reduction contribution for EV adoption, the statement said.

“Despite the growing demand for EV bikes in Thailand, financing options for consumers are limited due to an unbanked or underbanked population,” GEKO said in the statement.

The company said it currently has more than 350 EV motorcycles of multiple brands under financing in Thailand.

GEKO CEO E.K. Ong said there were “significant synergies” for the two companies.

“Together, we deliver tremendous value to the marketplace: attractive EV motorcycles meet equally attractive financing options. For qualified buyers, the purchase experience will be seamless,” Ong said in the statement.

SWAG currently has two EV motorcycle models, called the Type S and the Type X, with more than 250 of its EV motorcycles on the road in Thailand, the statement said. The company plans to launch the Type V model in March 2022, offering a top speed of 100 km an hour and a range of 160 km, the statement said.

SWAG has aimed to have a premium branding, and has partnerships with Thailand Post and Banpu, the statement said.

Ong said that in 2020, the company expected to put at least 1,000 SWAG motorcycles on the road in Thailand, and 500 in other Southeast Asian countries, mainly in Indonesia.

SWAG and GEKO plan to pursue a pre-Series A funding round, with a combined entity value of US$25 million in early 2022, with the funds earmarked for inventory to meet projected sales, technology development, building the loan book, market expansion and to build brand awareness, the statement said.