The post-coronavirus world will be a lot different than what we were used to before the pandemic hit. Many things can’t go back to the way they used to be and how we commute will be one of them. Biking will, without a doubt, be one of the best ways to get around. Consequently, the Dutch e-bike innovator VanMoof has announced securing an investment worth €12.5 million.
The investments came from one of Europe’s leading venture capital firms Balderton Capital and assembly partner SINBON Electronics. These funds will support the Amsterdam-based company’s international expansion plans as it aims to scale up for keeping up with the increased e-bike demands.
“It’s a unique time to build such a meaningful partnership. Not only do we appreciate this vote of confidence from an investor with deep sector experience, it’s a great sign that investments are becoming greener, shifting away from fossil fuels and towards e-mobility.” says Taco Carlier, VanMoof co-founder.
E-biking in a post-coronavirus world
Social distancing is now the new norm and in terms of commuting, biking certainly seems to be preferred over conventional commute options. The sales of bikes and e-bikes have skyrocketed post lockdown. In fact, the sales of VanMoof’s sleek electric bikes in Britain also jumped 184% between early February and the end of April. Furthermore, the sales numbers rose a whopping 138% in the US between Feb and April.
International expansion plans, coronavirus impact, new e-bikes and more
Even with the current coronavirus scenario, VanMoof has secured notable funding and its e-bike sales are growing steadily. We reached out to the company to learn more about what it’s plans are and how coronavirus has changed their business. VanMoof recently commenced its sales operations worldwide in April 2020. Now, it ships to 19 countries and has 8 brand stores worldwide in New York, San Francisco, Paris, London, Tokyo, Berlin, Amsterdam, and Taipei. VanMoof’s spokesperson said that the funds will further support the brand’s international expansion as it scales up to meet increased demand.
Coronavirus has influenced almost every business and the same goes for VanMoof. “We have released our new e-bikes at a time when social distancing is a new reality, and bikes are seen as an increasingly dependable and healthy mobility option. Our sales figures in two markets – UK & US – in a year-on-year comparison (2019 / 2020) illustrate the increased demand in a snapshot. In UK, our sales increased by 184% between Feb and April, while in the US it rose to 138% in the same time period. We’ve also seen a 48% increase in overall online sales since the beginning of February,” VanMoof spokesperson reveals.
Including the latest investment from Balderton & Sinbon funding, VanMoof has received €27.7 million as total funding so far. The Dutch company has also observed a 48% increase in overall online sales since the beginning of February. With the S3 & X3 e-bikes, VanMoof has taken ownership of the complete supply chain. This enabled it to keep up with the increased consumer demand by building its own hyper-efficient manufacturing and distribution system.
VanMoof currently has no plans to launch any more new models this year after the success of VanMoof S3 & X3.
Cities worldwide investing in biking
As social distancing is crucial for staying safe, countries worldwide are investing heavily in biking to make it more lucrative. Britain is encouraging people to adopt biking as their commute as part of a 250 million pound emergency active travel fund, Reuters reports. Similarly, France plans to invest €20 million to develop and subsidise two-wheel travel, which, like Britain, will include temporary bike lanes.
Amsterdam in the Netherlands and many cities across northern Europe are well-equipped with bike lanes for encouraging the cycling community. However, other countries lack a similar infrastructure but they are now gearing up. British transport minister Grant Shapps announced that the country’s road infrastructure would be changed to accommodate more cyclists. Additionally, e-scooter trials would be prioritised, with the potential for rental vehicles on British roads as early as June.