UBCO is on a speedy path to international success since launching its all-terrain electric motorbike just two years ago. NZTE is along for the ride.
Bay of Plenty-based electric motorbike maker UBCO is gearing up for international expansion, thanks to new investment from the United States.
UBCO designs and manufactures the UBCO 2x2, an electric motorbike that can survive one of the toughest environments in the world – New Zealand farms - and last year added an on-road model to its portfolio.
The UBCO 2x2 is silent, with portable power and no emissions – making them attractive to farm and tourism operators, and city slickers.
The award-winning company’s first shipment of electric motorbikes to the United States arrived in 2017 and are already running out the door, kicking off a push into its second export market.
UBCO’s electric motorbikes are sold in New Zealand and Australia, and last year Ubco confirmed a deal with US partners who will fund and manage a dedicated US operation, Ubco Bikes US.
“We’re a New Zealand company, and we’re a small company, and to get direct US investment at our age and stage is very unusual,” says Timothy Allan, UBCO’s Chief Executive.
NZTE has worked with UBCO since the company first sought angel investment as a start-up in 2015, helping it pitch to potential investors and research which overseas markets would be the best to start exporting.
“NZTE has always supported us at each capital step. They’ve been a continuous thread in our investment programme,” Allan says.
Daryl and Anthony designed the prototype and took it to Fieldays in 2014 where it caught the attention of judges in the Innovation Awards.
They won the Locus Research award, and with the help of the product development and innovation company led by Allan, the UBCO brand was born and the company launched in 2015 with Allan as the Chief Executive.
The company received early and second stage funding from local angel investors before attracting investment from the US.
The bikes core components are made overseas and assembled in China, from there they are shipped to their destination market.