Amsterdam-based startup VanMoof has raised a $128 million Series C funding round. It designs and sells electric bicycles that are very popular in certain markets. The company is now striving to be the leading brand of e-bikes in the world by constantly improving its products.
Asia-based private equity firm Hillhouse Investment is leading the round, with Gillian Tans, the former CEO of Booking.com, also participating. Existing investors have also contributed additional capital, including Norwest Venture Partners and Felix Capital. Balderton Capital, TriplePoint Capital and Balderton Capital are all examples.
The company’s Series C is a significant leap compared with its Series B. Last year, VanMoof raised a $40 million Series B. The startup raised an estimated $182 million if we add all of it together.
TechCrunch has reviewed the latest S3 and X3 VanMoof e-bikes. They look identical on paper. VanMoof X3 has a smaller frame with smaller wheels.
VanMoof is different than other e-bike manufacturers in that it tries to manage everything, from supply chain to customer experience. VanMoof’s e-bikes, which are premium and designed to be used in cities, are the best. Current models cost approximately $2,298 (or EUR2,198)
These cars have an electric motor and an electronic gear changing system. You don’t need to manually change the gears. It comes with four gears. You just need to get on your bike and pedal.
The S3 and X3 are easily recognized by their futuristic triangular-shaped frames. They also have hydraulic brakes and integrated lights. The integrated motion detector is combined with an alarm and GPS chip for cellular connectivity.
You can track your bike using the VanMoof app if you report your bike stolen. The company’s bikes are now also compatible with Apple’s Find My app.
The company does not rely on pre-made parts. Instead, it works with small suppliers who can make custom components. It can eliminate as many intermediaries as necessary to lower costs. This is a competitive advantage.
VanMoof’s growth is capital-intensive. In 50 cities across the globe, VanMoof has established retail outlets and service centers. VanMoof started its business in Europe but the U.S. has been the most successful growth market.
The startup will double down on its existing strategy with today’s funding round. Expect new bikes that are more refined in design and have custom-made parts. Expect more service centers and stores around the globe. You can also expect to see more sales online.
Taco Carlier, cofounder and CEO of VanMoof said that the bike will “help us get 10,000,000 people on our bikes within five years.” VanMoof has 150,000 users so far.
It shouldn’t be surprising that today’s investment is being made. Coronavirus has spurred plans to transform European cities and place bikes ahead of cars. Last year, TechCrunch’s Natasha Lomas and I wrote a comprehensive overview of key policy developments in four major cities — Paris, Barcelona, London and Milan. These policy changes are now being embraced by VanMoof.
Publited at Wednesday, 01 September 2021 05.13:40 +0000