What Is Dat Bike?
The startup business was launched in 2018 by Son Nguyen. The founder told TechCrunch in a recent interview that he learned to build bikes from scrap parts while working as a software engineer in Silicon Valley. As his skills developed, Nguyen decided to move back to Vietnam to launch Dat Bike.
By being based in Vietnam, the company serves to benefit from a massive base of potential customers. According to a 2021 report from the United Nations, more than 80% of households in Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia own two-wheeled vehicles. Nguyen is hoping to swipe customers with a more environmentally friendly vehicle that he says outperforms gas motorbikes in terms of design, speed, and range.
The company is still in its early stages as the founder highlights Dat Bike has shipped “a few hundred motorbikes so far.” However, the startup business has seen a boost in interest after opening its first physical store in Ho Chi Minh City last December, and, according to Nguyen, is working to fill “a backlog of orders.”
Money and Investors
The funding round closed this month appears to be the only investment money the electric bike company has raised to date. The startup pulled in a significant sum, $2.6 million, in the pre-Series A round — but almost more notably, caught the eye of some impressive investors.
The lead investor in the business was Jungle Ventures, a Singapore-based venture capital firm which is one of the largest independent firms in Southeast Asia. Its investment in Dat Bike is the first time Jungle Ventures has given capital to the mobility sector. Other investors in the company this round include Hustle Fund, iSeed Ventures, and Wavemaker Partners.
The Future of the Company
The business is tapping into a market that’s already blossoming in the US According to a recent report, the global electric scooter and motorcycle market was worth $5297.7 million in 2019, and is expected to reach over $7 billion by the end of 2026.
The main trend that has emerged in the US is smart-sharing services for electric bikes and scooters. California-based Lime, for example, has raised $945 million since it was founded in 2017. Meanwhile, Bird, a rival electric vehicle sharing company, has pulled in $623 million. There is clearly a massive market for these products.
The main focus of Dat Bike, now that the startup has the capital, will be building out its business in Vietnam and then expanding its supply chain in Southeast Asia in the next few years. “The $25 billion two-wheeler industry in Southeast Asia in particular is ripe for reaping benefits of new developments in electric vehicles and automation,” Jungle Ventures Founding Partner Amit Anand said in a statement. “We believe that Dat Bike will lead this charge and create a new benchmark not just in the region but potentially globally.”
About the Author
Jemima is a journalist who enjoys reporting on business, particularly small business and entrepreneurship.