Etron’s electric motorbike has became one of South Africa’s first licensed and road registered bikes of its kind.
With the initial design extensively tested and certified by the NRCS, the costs of ongoing re-design and re-development of Etron’s performance, range, build quality and reliability, were necessary, but steep.
According to Etron’s marketing and sales director Nick Hall, getting any new technology to market isn’t easy from any angle – but funding proved to be a particularly hard ride.
“We found ourselves over qualified in terms of our experience and ability to produce a real game changing electric motorbike, but vastly undercapitalised in our ability to fund the development, production and sustainability of the range,” says Hall.
“Meetings with various financial institutions elicited huge praise for the product but a lack of vision for the ranges potential, no credit was afforded the advanced stage of the bikes development, the unique IP we had engineered into the design, the strong relationships we had with our manufacturing partners or the decades of experience the partners in the company had in the industry.”
Turning the corner at speed
They say fortune favours the brave and a meeting between ProfitShare Partners’ CEO Andrew Maren and the stakeholders behind Etron Electric Motorbikes (Pty) Ltd, Nick Hall, Mike Salvato and Chris Corns, proved to be the turning point for the future of these electric dream bikes.
The Etron team cite standout moments in the relationship with ProfitShare Partners as starting with the finance industry disruptor’s diligence in assessing the investment opportunity Etron represented base on the overall opportunity their business represented and not on the net worth of our partnership.
Hall notes that for the first time, Etron found their business being assessed on a combination of the nature, technology, pricing and profitability potential and the quality of the Etron range.
“Our collective partner industry qualifications and experience and our collective understanding of the market we were entering into was also taken into account, Hal says, “along with the suitability and timing of our range being launched into the South African market.”
The team says their unique intellectual property that went into the design of the product range, as well as the level of certification and pre-qualification they had already carried out also lent credence to PSP’s decision to get Etron on the road.