European e-bike start-ups Cowboy, Dance, VanMoof raise cash from VCs

July 23, 2020
European e-bike start-ups Cowboy, Dance, VanMoof raise cash from VCs 1

European e-bike start-ups Cowboy, Dance, VanMoof elevate money from VCs

CEO of Cowboy Adrien Roose (left) and Index Ventures associate Martin Mignot (proper)

Index Ventures

Enterprise capital companies are pumping cash into e-bike start-ups because the coronavirus pandemic forces metropolis dwellers to search out new methods of getting from A to B.  

Expertise buyers have not too long ago positioned bets on younger e-bike corporations within the cycle-friendly cities of Berlin, Tallinn, Amsterdam, and Brussels. There is a doubtlessly large market: accountancy agency Deloitte estimates that over 130 million e-bikes shall be bought between 2020 and 2023.

Brussels-based Cowboy turned the newest e-bike start-up to boost VC funding on Thursday, with the corporate saying a 23 million euro ($27 million) collection B funding spherical led by Exor Seeds, the early stage funding arm of Exor, which is the controlling shareholder of Ferrari. 

The corporate’s e-bikes, which price 2,290 euros, are linked to an app that’s used to unlock the bike and provides real-time data on pace, battery life and instructions. 

Index Ventures, which has backed the likes of Fb, Robinhood, and Citymapper, additionally participated within the spherical. Martin Mignot, associate at Index, informed CNBC that e-bikes at the moment are extra well-liked than common bikes in some nations.

“As cities and metropolis facilities transition away from automobiles, I anticipate extra folks will fall in love with e-bikes and understand how good they’re for getting round city with out breaking a sweat,” he mentioned.

“Lengthy are the times when e-bikes had been clunky and principally designed for the aged. Electrical bikes of as we speak are cool and the expertise using them is magical. After I first tried an e-bike from Cowboy, it was like holding the iPhone for the primary time, and simply because the iPhone it marries software program and {hardware} fantastically.”

Cowboy’s newest funding spherical comes simply two days after the launch of e-bike subscription service Dance. 

The Berlin-headquartered firm, arrange by the founder’s of music streaming service SoundCloud, mentioned that it has raised 4.Four million euros ($5.1 million) from a consortium of buyers led by VC agency BlueYard, which can also be based mostly in Berlin.

Not like different start-ups, Dance does not need to promote e-bikes, which may price properly in extra of $2,000.

As a substitute, it has launched a 59 euro per thirty days subscription service that provides clients entry to an e-bike inside 24 hours of them signing up through the corporate’s app. Dance says it is going to additionally handle the e-bike and change it without spending a dime instantly if it will get misplaced or stolen.

Dance cofounders (L-R): Christian Springub, Eric Quidenus-Wahlforss, and Alexander Ljung.


Ciarán O’Leary, normal associate at BlueYard, informed CNBC that he backed Dance as a result of there’s an pressing want and an “outsized alternative” to re-shape city landscapes away from automobiles and towards folks.

He added that the founders “have a eager sense for product, software program and neighborhood.”

The corporate is just simply getting began although and it is prone to be a number of months earlier than it begins increasing exterior Berlin.

Choosing winners

In Could, London-based VC agency Balderton Capital led a 12.5 million euro spherical into Amsterdam e-bike retailer VanMoof, which had a two-month ready listing on the time.

“Every thing modified as a result of virus and all the things began rising even quicker,” mentioned Taco Carlier on a name with CNBC in Could, including that world gross sales had been up round 48% in comparison with the identical interval final 12 months, and U.Ok. gross sales are up 184%.

VanMoof’s bikes — bought in VanMoof shops in Amsterdam, Paris, Berlin, London, New York, Seattle, San Francisco, Taipei and Tokyo — are outfitted with anti-theft know-how. A motorcycle’s location may be tracked on the corporate’s smartphone app and if a motorbike does go lacking, the corporate’s “bike hunters” will go and retrieve it for them.

The corporate, which employs round 250 folks, has bought over 120,000 of its e-bikes, that are made in both The Netherlands or Taiwan. The 2 newest fashions (the S3 and the X3) price 1,998 euros ($2,170).

“Even earlier than these difficult instances, electrical bikes had been on a fast development trajectory,” wrote Balderton investor Colin Hanna in a weblog put up on the time of the funding.

“As folks and firms world wide start to consider protected commuting choices going ahead, we consider that the standard and expertise of using VanMoof’s bikes, their sturdy community-driven model and their progressive go to market will assist VanMoof develop into a family title from Tokyo to Berlin.”

In September 2019, crowdfunding buyers backed Tallinn-headquartered Ampler Bikes with 2.47 million euros.

The cash got here from 1,241 buyers from 29 totally different nations.

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