Mobius Motors: Story, Founders, Investors & Funding Rounds
Mobius designs make and sell cars that are made to meet the needs of the middle class in Africa. The Mobius II was rethought to better meet the needs of the average African customer. Things like typical road conditions, normal vehicle loads, and average household income were taken into account. The result is an SUV that is tough enough for country roads and can be bought for less than what a used car would cost.
Mobius is not only making cars that are better suited to local needs, but it is also making a platform for transportation businesses that gives independent operators the tools they need to start and run successful transportation businesses that serve local people. Business ideas range from public transportation to mobile health care to product distribution, and they are changing the infrastructure of the whole continent of Africa in the process. The goal of Mobius is to connect millions of people all over Africa and make it Africa’s mass-market car.
Most of the cars in Africa come from other countries, so they are not made for the terrain or weather there. The problem is made worse by the high cost of import taxes, which can make a car cost more than twice as much as it would in the United States. Also, most roads in rural and peri-urban areas of sub-Saharan Africa are old, broken, and full of potholes. This makes it hard to get around and eventually limits people’s mobility.
Africa’s transportation system is hard to use because the infrastructure is falling apart, the people are spread out, there aren’t enough resources, and the vehicles are old or not right for the job. The average person in Africa can’t afford or depend on a car, which is a big problem for the continent’s transportation system.
In 2011, Joel Jackson started Mobius to make a car in Africa for Africans. In 2015, Kenya was the place where the first Mobius II model was shown. End-to-end customer service is still important to Mobius, and early product feedback has been used to design the next Mobius II, which will come out in 2019.
How it Works
The Mobius structure is held together by a steel space frame that is attached to a long ladder chassis. This structure, along with the vehicle’s low center of gravity, is what makes the vehicle’s high ground clearance and great handling possible. Space-frame construction lets the vehicle’s weight be spread out more evenly, which makes the people inside it even safer.
The tried-and-true powertrain and gearbox are made to provide reliable traction, which is especially helpful when hauling big loads over rough terrain. The engine and transmission have been tweaked to work well on Kenya’s roads and in its weather. This high-efficiency engine has 16 valves and VVT (Variable Valve Timing). This gives it more low-end torque and faster acceleration, in addition to the usual high-end power and fuel efficiency.
To drive safely on the different kinds of roads in Africa, you need a good suspension system. The Mobius II has a set of specially made double wishbone coil springs in the front, and a set of live axle leaf springs in the back. This setup gives the vehicle responsive performance, like better drive handling and steering stability, without giving up the ability to carry heavy items in the cargo area.
The new infotainment system from Mobius has built-in GPS navigation, WiFi, multimedia, USB, NFC (Near Field Communication), and Bluetooth® 4.0 for hands-free phone calls. Mirror-Link technology lets you easily mirror your smartphone on the high-definition 8-inch touchscreen display, giving you full access to all of your phone’s data and features. By adding WiFi, this method finally turns cars into modern, connected devices.
In a nutshell, the new Mobius 2 is a modern classic with a rough edge. The vehicle’s high ride height, sleek body lines, powerful proportions, and aggressive road presence give it a unique Mobius look. The new Mobius II is just as comfortable in a busy city, where it can be driven in style, as it is in the middle of nowhere, where durability and dependability are most important.
At Mobius, the most sophisticated way to design something is to keep it simple. The best solutions make complicated systems easier to use and give the end users a pleasant experience. The high-end interior of the brand-new Mobius was made with lofty goals in mind. The dashboard and other interior features are simple so that drivers can focus on the road ahead. A WiFi-enabled 8-inch tablet can also be easily connected to the car’s stereo system.
The main Mobius Sales & Service Center is in Block C of the Sameer Business Park on Mombasa Road in Nairobi.
To keep the remaining warranty coverage on the vehicle, all service, maintenance, and repairs must be done at authorized Mobius Service Centers or other facilities.
Repairs & Maintenance
All Mobius Service Stations sell replacement parts that come straight from the factory.
Every brand-new Mobius comes with the original owner’s manual and service booklet.
Their expert technicians will service, inspect, and maintain your Mobius vehicle according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.
Additionally, the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) plate is in the area where the engine is.
You get a car that is made to your exact specifications and sent to you right from the factory, so it doesn’t have to sit in a warehouse for months.
On top of that, all payments are held in escrow until a Pre-Order turns into a Sales Order.
You can change the Trim Level or color of your order before you turn your Pre-Purchase into a Sales Order but this could make it take longer for them to give you your car.
Joel Jackson is the brains behind Mobius Motors and has won several prestigious fellowships for his work in business, including the TED Fellowship, the Wired Innovation Fellowship, and the Echoing Green Fellowship.
Before joining Mobius, Joel was in charge of business strategy and operations for a well-known microforestry social venture that helped farmers in rural Kenya. Here, he saw for the first time how hard it is for the millions of people across the continent who don’t have reliable ways to get around.
Joel also worked as a management consultant for some of the best Fortune 500 companies in the United States, Europe, and Asia.
He went to Imperial College and got a degree in Computer Science with honors.
Investors & Funding Rounds
Overseas Private Investment Corporation
Mobius Motors has secured sh 500 Million in loans from the US government’s development finance institution Overseas Private Investment Corporation that will be used to set up a new factory in Nairobi.
The loan from Opic is part of an Sh1.1 billion ($11 million) financing Mobius received from investors including New York-based PanAfrican Investment Co.
Additionally, the credit facility will expand Mobius Motors’ research and development space, supporting the technical team’s work in developing future vehicles.
Zero Motorcycles: It is best at making light electric bikes.
Arcimoto: This is a car company whose main goal is to improve the SRK, an electric vehicle with only three wheels that is very efficient.
Youxia Motors: It has a team that makes both the plans and the finished electric cars.
MFS Africa: Story, Founders, Investors & Funding Rounds
upOwa: Story, Founders, Investors & Funding Rounds
Turaco Insurance: Story, Founders, Investors & Funding Rounds