Biking, as an option to commute over short distances, is picking up again amid the pandemic. A new report suggests that the global E-bike market size is expected to reach $46.04B (€38.9B) by 2026. In this context, Amsterdam-based VanMoof, a company that develops e-bikes, has announced plans to expand its services across 50 cities.
Founder and CEO of VanMoof, Taco Carlier announced the expansion of the brand’s service footprint at SXSW 2021.
SXSW organises conferences and features sessions, showcases, screenings, exhibitions, and a variety of networking opportunities to promote businesses connected to music, film, and interactive media. SXSW is headquartered in Austin, Texas.
The company was founded in 2009 by brothers Taco Carlier and Ties Carlier. VanMoof develops and designs urban e-bikes to help commuters get to work without breaking a sweat. Its e-bikes also offer different digital devices like anti-theft systems, intelligent motor, and automatic electronic gear shifting that enable commuters and officegoers to travel with a sustainable mode of transportation.
Ties Carlier, co-founder of VanMoof believes, “Reducing our reliance on cars and instilling the confidence to change-up your commute habits requires a robust service fallback for your new ride. Only then will we reach a critical mass turning point that transforms our cities.”
Since the launch of VanMoof’s flagship S3 & X3 in April 2020, the brand has been closely monitoring rider feedback in order to identify areas of improvement. The expanded physical presence and seamless service integration are what VanMoof riders asked for the most.
The expansion plan
VanMoof says, its e-bike sales tripled in the last 12 months and to date, the company has over 150,000 riders globally. With such numbers, the company says it has seen a 5X increase in riders since 2019. It believes a growth like this calls for smarter measures – both online and offline – to achieve the next-level service.
The company plans to expand its physical presence from 8 to 50 cities as part of its core global strategy, in order to strengthen its position as the e-bike industry leader. The move comes after the company’s recent hypergrowth set in motion by the global bike boom.
The e-bike developer is making service its number one priority and plans to open a network of service hubs and certified partner workshops over the next six months. Its goal is to offer on-demand and on-the-spot service at all times to all riders, no matter where they are.
“We’ve spent the second half of 2020 listening to our riders and redesigning our service offering on digital channels. Now we’re ready to implement the physical service experience worldwide,” says Taco Carlier, co-founder of VanMoof.
Currently, VanMoof offers services in Amsterdam, Berlin, London, New York, Paris, San Francisco, Seattle, Taipei, and Tokyo, and plans to expand to 50 cities worldwide through dedicated service hubs by the end of 2021.
Fulfilling increased demands
To provide convenient and best-in-class service, the global service expansion involves opening 14 service hubs across Europe, the US, and Japan. Each will offer test rides, check-ups, and repairs of all kinds.
Besides, VanMoof will also be partnering with over 60 certified partner workshops, each hand-picked and trained to provide the highest standard of service for the S3 & X3 bikes.
“The goal is to provide the best possible experience to our riders, no matter where they’re located,” said co-founder Taco Carlier. The company’s flagship electric S3 & X3 bikes start at £1798.
In September 2020, the Dutch e-bike innovator secured €33.7M in its Series B round from Norwest Venture Partners, Felix Capital, and Balderton Capital. It said the funds were raised to fuel global expansion and bolster its manufacturing process.
Prior to that, in the middle of lockdown in Europe, in May 2020, VanMoof secured an investment worth €12.5M from one of Europe’s leading venture capital firms Balderton Capital and assembly partner SINBON Electronics. According to the company, the funds were utilised for international expansion as the company aimed to scale up for keeping up with the increased e-bike demands.