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Cowboy releases cheeky app to keep VanMoof e-bike riders on the road

Cowboy releases cheeky app to keep VanMoof e-bike riders on the road

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The Bikey app saves the VanMoof e-bike’s unique digital key so that owners can ‘enjoy peace of mind again.’

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An illustration showing an app with a black background showing hearts on a black display that mimics the matrix display used on VanMoof e-bikes.
Cowboy sends you its love.
Image: Cowboy

Belgian e-bike maker Cowboy has released a free app to keep rival VanMoof owners on the road now that the Dutch company is teetering on the edge of bankruptcy.

The Bikey app — get it... bike key — can generate and save a VanMoof owner’s unique digital key, which might be needed if the company’s servers are ever taken offline. It also provides basic access to the VanMoof e-bike’s settings. The key can be exported elsewhere for safekeeping.

The app currently only works with S3 and X3 e-bike models, the most common VanMoof e-bikes currently on the road, with support for new S5 and A5 e-bikes on the way. It’s in beta and is iOS only for now, with an Android beta releasing soon. Cowboy says that “nothing is shared outside of the app,” not even your email.

Given its shared similarities with VanMoof, maybe Cowboy shouldn’t get too full of itself?

“Just generate your local key and enjoy peace of mind again,” reads the description in a cheeky little dig at VanMoof’s celebrated Peace of Mind e-bike recovery service. Nevertheless, Cowboy says its intentions are noble. “We believe deeply that every single bike deserves to be on the road and that’s why we decided to build this project.”

Given Cowboy’s shared similarities with VanMoof, both of which are independent e-bike makers that raised millions in capital and rely upon many custom-built parts, maybe Cowboy shouldn’t get too full of itself. It has plenty of its own investors looking to get paid and had its own issues earlier in the year when it had to reorganize and seek additional funding to deal with supply chain issues.

One major difference: Cowboy is on a better path to profitability, unlike VanMoof, which needs court-ordered protection to help pay its bills.