Temasek invests RM1.3b in electric scooter maker

NEW YORKGogoro Inc, an electric scooter maker backed by Panasonic Corp, raised US$300 million (RM1.26 billion) from Singapore’s Temasek Holdings Pte Ltd and other investors to pay for expansion, and research and development.

Generation Investment Management LLP, cofounded by Al Gore, Japan’s Sumitomo Corp, and French utility Engie SA, also invested. The new funding brings the Taiwan-based startup’s valuation to about US$800 million, including the new cash injection, according to a person familiar with the matter. That’s double the level when it last raised in 2015, the person said.

Founded in 2011 by Horace Luke and Matt Taylor, former executives at HTC Corp, Gogoro plans to use the investment to expand into more cities. The company started selling its scooters in Taiwan in 2015. It’s sold more than 30,000 scooters so far and built more than 400 stations for riders to swap used batteries for charged ones.

“Temasek is well connected in South-East Asia and it’s a key market for us,” said Luke, CEO of Gogoro. “We’ve done well in Taiwan, but it’s still a very limited market.”

Last year, Gogoro rolled out a scooter-sharing programme with Robert Bosch GmbH in Berlin. Users in the city can use a smartphone app to locate, book and pay to use the scooter. Riders can drop the scooter off at their destination rather than at a central docking station. — Bloomberg