Kite Mobility has secured $3.5 million in its third seed round, funding which will be allocated to accelerating growth across Canada.
Key participants in the round are Toronto-based boutique investment firm Good & Well and Santa Clara, Calif.-based Enlightened Building Technologies Inc. It includes what is, according to a release, a “historic first” — a Canada-wide co-investment by TAF (The Atmospheric Fund), Alberta Ecotrust, the Greater Montreal Climate Fund and members of Low Carbon Cities Canada.
Thornhill, Ont.-based Kite, founded in 2020, offers residents and guests of private communities the ability to rent, reserve, pay-per-use, or subscribe to on-demand electric vehicles and e-bikes.
"The commitments from these strategic investors advance Kite's growing impact, ability to scale projects to meet strong user and builder demand, and provides significant and measurable carbon reduction within cities," Scott Macwilliam, Kite’s founder, said in a statement.
Kite plans to accelerate projects with leading real estate developers, and offer solutions to pressing carbon reduction challenges within buildings and communities, he noted.
“Kite's solutions will also help individuals and families afford to live in our great cities, by making new housing more affordable, and by providing sustainable transportation options."
Enlightened services large industrial, commercial, and multi-residential buildings and projects throughout North America and the Caribbean with renewable energy and carbon reduction solutions.
Alberta Ecotrust and the Greater Montreal Climate Fund are focused on providing investments for low-carbon solutions in those regions. TAF is a similar organization focused on the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area.
Low Carbon Cities Canada (LC3) is an initiative aimed at helping communities achieve carbon reduction goals. It was implemented in partnership with several local centres and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. Those centres include Alberta Ecotrust, TAF and the Greater Montreal Climate Fund, as well as the Halifax Climate Investment Innovation and Impact Fund, the Ottawa Climate Action Fund and the Metro Vancouver Zero Emissions Innovation Centre.
"TAF is supporting this innovative and proven business model for its significant potential to scale and tackle transportation emissions in cities across Canada,” Kristian Knibutat, TAF’s vice-president of impact investing, said in a statement.
“We're pleased to collaborate with other LC3 Centres for the first time to leverage our collective expertise and ultimately mobilize more capital into low-carbon solutions."
How Kite's service works
According to its website, in most cases Kite's services are available 24 hours a day, seven days per week. To begin the ride, users will need to input their property’s unique four-digit code.
The number of EVs varies depending on the location and size of the property, but co-founder and chief product officer Jason Mota previously told SustainableBiz a 400-unit property would likely be broken down into two to three cars and eight to 10 e-bikes and/or scooters. Kite provides a docking station for the latter two options to make them interchangeable.
“What if we centralize(d) the business model and brought it in-house? Work with large-cluster developers and robust urban downtown communities, both from the residential side, but also hospitality?” Mota explained in September. “(Offering) quick accessibility to those vehicles, we can maintain them really well, we don’t have to worry about that OPEX (operational expense), or those flatbed diesel trucks used for getting them back,” to a hub.
This funding comes on the heels of its September 2022 funding round with Good & Well, for which financial terms were not disclosed.