VanMoof, the Dutch e-bike startup which launched in 2009, is now formally a “scale-up” after attracting a €12.5M / $13.5M funding from London VC Balderton Capital and SINBON Electronics, the Taiwan-based electronics producer which is its bike meeting associate.

The funds shall be used for worldwide growth, following the launch of the brand new electrical VanMoof S3 and X3 bikes.

The announcement comes at a fortuitous time. Cities throughout Europe are gingerly rising from lockdown throughout the latest outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, and European governments are determined to get their economies transferring. However a lot of the official recommendation is to keep away from public transport the place doable, as a result of near-impossibility of social distancing.

So with biking a viable possibility in lots of cities, however distance nonetheless the previous adversary, many customers need to e-bikes as the answer to commuting, versus conventional bikes, which might’t compete with an e-bike’s means to take the rider a lot additional than regular.

To spice up take-up, the UK authorities has unleashed a £2 billion package deal to create a brand new period for biking and strolling, resulting in shares in bike retailer Halfords jumping by 17% on Monday.

Within the US, New York Metropolis simply dedicated to including protected bike lanes throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn. Berlin is extending a few of its already intensive bike lanes. And Milan will introduce a five-mile cycle lane to chop automotive use after the lockdown. New York Metropolis has reported a 50% improve in biking in comparison with this time final 12 months. Biking in Philadelphia has elevated by greater than 150% throughout the COVID-19 outbreak.

Taco Carlier, VanMoof co-founder, stated in an announcement: “It’s a singular time to construct such a significant partnership. Not solely can we respect this vote of confidence from an investor with deep sector expertise, it’s a fantastic signal that investments have gotten greener, shifting away from fossil fuels and in the direction of e-mobility.”

Colin Hanna, principal at Balderton stated: “VanMoof produces a category-leading product in a quickly rising market that’s altering the world for the higher. We imagine that the standard, group, and expertise of VanMoof will make them a family identify from Tokyo to Berlin.”

VanMoof lately launched the S3 and X3 fashions that are upgrades to earlier fashions, at a considerably cheaper worth. The value is a mirrored image of the truth that VanMoof has full management of the provision chain because of its partnership with SINBON, mixed with a direct-to-consumer gross sales mannequin which suggests it takes full possession of every part from design to manufacturing, from gross sales to after-service.

Moreover, within the final two years, the corporate has quadrupled its €10m 2018 income to just about €40m in 2019, with gross sales 20% above goal all through 2020 up to now, that means it’s an annual income purpose of €100m.

The excessive efficiency new electrical VanMoof S3 and X3 have a brand new vary of options, together with digital four-speed gear shifting, built-in hydraulic brakes, and double the Turbo Enhance energy.

However VanMoof isn’t the one VC-backed e-bike in the marketplace. Brussels-based Cowboy is an e-bike startup that solely appeared in 2017 however has since gone on to lift $19.5M from Tiger International and London’s Index Ventures.

Whereas it’s a tragedy that it’s taken a deathly pandemic to kick-start this market, the prospect of our cities turning into radically modified for the higher, with cleaner air and more healthy, bike-riding residents, does appear to be showing on the horizon.

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