Jack Sarvary is the co-founder and CEO of Vammo, and one of the first employees at Rappi, the Colombian delivery giant.

You were born in the U.K. and grew up in the U.S. What brought you to the Latin American startup world?

After working as a consultant and living in New York City for a few years, I ended up in Bogotá, where I joined the Rappi team when the company was less than a year old. There were eight people doing everything. I was there for six years, during which time I had a lot of different roles — from operations manager dealing with delivery workers in six countries to software and product manager leading the technology stack. During my last years at Rappi, I developed Turbo, the company’s 10-minute delivery service, and that’s when I really got to understand the delivery workers’ needs and woes.

Why build an EV motorcycle service for delivery workers?

To me, it was an obvious question to ask: Why aren’t they using electric mobility for their day-to-day work? And the answer was, mostly because of the cost. 

Motorcycles are a work tool for delivery workers, so the economics of an electric version have to make sense for them besides enabling them to do their job. And it turns out that the economics do make sense — but only after two or three years. An EV bike’s down payment is twice as expensive [as that of a gas-fueled bike], but after a few years, the expenses are minimal. If delivery workers had the money, they would buy the electric motorcycle and save what they would have spent on gas. But they usually don’t have the money to pay an expensive cost of entry. 

Coming from Rappi in Colombia, which also has a really big motorcycle population, why did you choose the Brazilian market to launch Vammo instead? 

Two main reasons: The country has the largest motorcycle per capita ratio in Latin America, and about 85% of its electric grid is renewable, mostly hydrogen. In comparison, only 20% of Europe’s electric grid is renewable. So it has a lot of potential. 

We’re currently operating in São Paulo with 200 motorcycles for rent. Eventually, we’ll do a lease-to-own model and just provide the battery-swapping service. The motorcycles we’re buying are Chinese, mostly NIU and Super Soco, and we’re aiming to produce the batteries locally. But we don’t want to turn into a motorcycle producer. China already has about 40% of the EV motorcycle market in Latin America, and they really are the best ones.