VanMoof just raised another $128 million in funding, after announcing a $40 million investment round in September 2020. That brings Amsterdam-based VanMoof’s total haul to $182 million raised in the last two years, excluding crowdfunding rounds in 2018 and 2019, making it “the most funded e-bike company in the world,” according to VanMoof.
The company claims to have almost 200,000 bikes on the road currently, with the goal of getting 10 million people on VanMoof e-bikes in the next five years. Such aggressive expansion goals require significant capital.
Improve the quality and reliability of the bike
VanMoof’s new funding round has been earmarked to expand production and to “reinvent the way in which hardware and software components are made,” according to a blog post announcing the new investment round. More specifically, VanMoof co-founder Taco Carlier tells The Verge in a phone interview that most of the funds will go towards R&D, “having more people on the hardware and software development in order to improve the quality and reliability of the bike.”
Last September, the company said it was using about a third of its $40 million investment round to improve after-sales support that had faltered under the strain of the troubled launch of its S3 and X3 e-bikes during a pandemic. That money is already being used to expand the company’s dedicated service hubs from 8 to 50 worldwide cities by the end of 2021, and develop a “Bike Doctor Network” that sends support technicians directly to customer locations when service is needed. Today’s investment round will allow for more service hubs and branded stores in (a few) more cities, according to Carlier, while paying for the rollout of the Bike Doctor Network to those cities starting in 2022.
For comparison, RadPower, the largest e-bike maker in the US, raised $150 million earlier this year, adding to the $25 million it garnered the year prior. Investors are pouring money into electric bike makers in the hope of capitalizing on the global e-bike market which is expected to be worth almost $50 billion by 2028. In March 2021, e-bikes already represented 17 percent of all bicycle sales in Europe, and accounted for more than 50 percent of all new bike sales in countries like Germany and the Netherlands.
E-bike sales in the US are also on the rise. As of April, sales were up 139 percent to $681 million for the year-to-date, compared to the same period in 2020, according to market research firm NPD Group. VanMoof says that the US is its fastest growth market, “with the post-pandemic e-bike wave showing no sign of slowing down.”