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Ubco, the Kiwi technology company responsible for the world’s first electric farm bike, has successfully entered the US market after finalising a combined investment deal with established US technology entrepreneurs. 

Ubco CEO, Timothy Allan has been working extensively with two successful technology entrepreneurs, Bob and Ethan Ralston, to determine the best approach to achieving direct US investment and creating a successful US market launch. This has resulted in the formation of distribution company UBCO US LLC, based in Eugene, Oregon. 

Father and son entrepreneurs Bob and Ethan Ralston founded, developed and successfully exited IoT company Feeney Wireless to Novotel Wireless in 2015. 
Now, along with leading US expansion and acquisition company Spring Capital, the Ralstons have invested US$1 million in the Ubco and are excited by the potential of the product. 

“Our mission is to create the best electric motor-bike brand in the US,” says Ethan Ralston.
“We have all the elements to succeed: a strong group of US investors, and the most versatile electric motor-bike out there.” 

Allan says that adding two successful US technology entrepreneurs into the wider UBCO team is of equal or perhaps greater value; Bob at a UBCO board level and Ethan as a managing member of the US LLC. 

“Having their experience and knowledge available to the company will be invaluable, and their ability to lead the US investment deal has already proven to be a success,” Allan said.

While there has been a strong focus on the US, Deion Campbell, chairman of the Ubco board, believes this will help establish the brand in other leading markets. 
“Securing entry into the US market is a real highlight for Ubco and secures us a profile that we will leverage off in other significant international markets,” Campbell said.

Ubco Series A funding round has raised NZ$2.5 million from New Zealand and Australian investors, and in conjunction with the US investment of NZ$1.45 million takes the total investment in the existing round to NZ$3.95 million.

Ubco has also achieved a boost in Australia, officially signing Daviesway as dedicated rural distributor. With 35 full-time sales staff on the road, this agreement will help drive Ubco’s brand recognition and uptake in the rural market and will build on the past nine months of work completed by the Ubco team. 

The product behind this global strategy, the Ubco 2×2, is designed in New Zealand and utilises advances in electric motor design and battery technology to deliver a whisper quiet, connected utility vehicle that embraces portable energy. 

After its launch at Fieldays in 2014, where it won an innovation award that set it on the path to international success, the company has received enthusiastic reviews from magazines and influencers. 

The concept has captured the imagination of a variety of users, with a diverse range of applications, including hunting, recreation, horticulture, agriculture, conservation and tourism. 

“The combination of a lightweight frame, powerful and near silent motors, and a state-of-the-art Lithium-Ion battery that not only fuels the bike, but charges tools on the go, means that the Ubco 2×2 has more than filled the brief of replacing the common farm bike,” Allan said.


Glenn Baker

Glenn is a professional writer/editor with 50-plus years’ experience across radio, television and magazine publishing.


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