Electric-bike startup MODMO raises $1.39 mil. for Vietnam production

26, Apr. 2021

Electric bicycle startup MODMO was founded by CEO Jack O'Sullivan who relocated from Ireland to Vietnam with the goal of building a world-class supply chain while supporting green initiatives. (Photo courtesy of MODMO)
Electric bicycle startup MODMO was founded by CEO Jack O'Sullivan who relocated from Ireland to Vietnam with the goal of building a world-class supply chain while supporting green initiatives. (Photo courtesy of MODMO)

SINGAPORE, NNA - MODMO, a new producer of high-tech electric bikes, has raised a 1 million euros ($1.39 million) in a seed round to accelerate production in Vietnam.

The Irish startup was founded by its youthful CEO, Jack O'Sullivan, who relocated to Vietnam with the goal of building a world-class supply chain and supporting green initiatives such as low-emission manufacturing.

So far, it has garnered over 1,000 pre-orders for its flagship product, the Saigon+, which is priced at an entry-level of about $2,170, the company said in a media statement.

Its ebikes boast smart features such as Bluetooth and 4G GPS tracking, and a custom removable battery that can power up to 200km range. The digital handlebar displays speed, distance, trip and battery level.

O'Sullivan, who is 24, said, "We successfully brought our first bike from concept to delivery in less than one year and we're now scaling up production to fulfil our pre-orders. We've massively grown the production team this year to bring more production to Vietnam."

By manufacturing its own components, the company has reduced dependency on large Taiwanese and Chinese component producers which have been suffering from material shortages and higher costs since the COVID-19 outbreak in March 2020, it said in the statement.

Said O'Sullivan, "Although our initial production output has been slower, we began shipping our bikes in February of 2021, and now enjoy full control over the production of many of our components. And, by bringing production within 50km from our R&D headquarters, we've been able to innovate quickly while also massively reducing the carbon footprint of each bike by decreasing transport."

A high majority of 75 percent of its workforce are engineers who manage the process of ebike production, from raw materials to the finished product.

By producing in Vietnam and taking advantage of the EU-Vietnam free trade agreement, MODMO can tightly control suppliers to ensure quality while keeping prices affordable, it said.

The company has also been largely sheltered from the COVID outbreak as Vietnam was quick to close borders to travelers, it added.

Bicycling is a popular mode of transport in Vietnam. It is slowly gaining favor in other Southeast Asian cities such as Jakarta and Singapore where more cycling lanes are being provided.