MVLLABS, the company behind South-east Asian ride-hailing service TADA, has raised US$15 million in Series B funding to build an electric vehicle (EV) model for launch in Cambodia.
The round was led by existing investor Central, an automotive parts manufacturer in South Korea, and joined by Singapore-based early-stage venture firm Trive.
The EV, called the ONiON T1, was developed in collaboration with Central. The vehicle will be launched through MVL's subsidiary, MVL Energy. It will be added to TADA's fleet in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where the firm offers both ride-hailing and delivery services.
The ONiON EV will lower energy costs for traditional three-wheel vehicles, or tuk-tuks, to just US$60 a month, MVL said. It also plans to install ONiON mega battery swapping stations across Phnom Penh.
The ONiON T1 will be assembled in Cambodia's Kandal province, located in Special Economic Zone Sovannaphum. MVL said that this venture expected to generate 380 new job opportunities. It is currently taking pre-orders for the EV, with the first production units expected to be available by the end-2021.
"As a company, we have been focused on bridging the technology gap to make mobility affordable, and this launch paves the way for expansion into other EV models," said MVL chief executive Kay Woo.
MVL's TADA, not to be confused with the South Korean ride-hailing service Tada, is present in Singapore, Vietnam and Cambodia. It has about 100,000 drivers and 890,000 users.