We are thrilled to announce our Series B investment in VanMoof, a category-defining leader in the fast-growing e-bike market. The company’s vision is to put one billion customers on VanMoof bikes, and we are thrilled to partner with the team on this journey.
The E-Bike Moment is Here
2020, despite all of its attendant challenges, will likely serve as the pivotal moment for the e-bike market. Consumers and city planners have been forced to re-think mobility and transportation, and the resulting adoption has been tremendous.
US and global consumers have been re-evaluating commuting and mobility for years now; the rapid growth of the sharing economy of scooters and bikes in our cities underscored the demand for micro-mobility options, but these offerings seemed to leave consumers still looking for alternatives to help on commutes and longer trips.
Cities and municipalities had already started plans to embrace a forward-thinking, environmentally friendly approach to transportation. Metros like New York and San Francisco were already modifying city master plans to embrace a biking culture.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic fundamentally accelerated both of these movements, creating a unique opportunity for e-bikes. Consumers suddenly had to evaluate a more-complicated public transportation decision. City planners had to evaluate a post-shelter-in-place transportation system without said public transportation. New York in particular has accelerated efforts. The e-bike market has simply exploded this year, and its growth should continue.
The global e-bike market is quite large at ~$10 billion, but the events of 2020 have projected its market growth to increase at 25% annually to $46 billion by 2026.
The VanMoof Appeal
Taco & Ties Carlier, the founders (and brothers!) behind VanMoof are leading a team perfectly suited to seize this opportunity. Teams in Amsterdam and Taiwan are constantly improving on an already market-leading product. The VanMoof bike delivers a beautiful, functional experience – every component of the bike is thoughtfully designed in-house, and the team in Taiwan owns the entire supply chain.
The result is a bike of tremendous quality and value. We’ve ridden the bikes all around the Bay Area and wholeheartedly agree with the overwhelmingly positive reviews of the recently launched S3 model. To those who haven’t had the joy of riding a VanMoof yet, the pedal assist offers greater balance of flexibility and power. Viavia in-app settings, the bike gives power as needed, helping riders maintain speeds of up to 20 mph. With a range of 30-90 miles (depending on power used), daily commutes and errands are a breeze. It’s an attractive, durable and highly engineered product, and we believe consumers worldwide will agree with us.
Beyond the design, we were drawn to the software and services that accompany the bike. Features include anti-theft alarms and tracking, over-the-air bike updates, performance tracking and service requests.
Finally, we think VanMoof’s omnichannel sales approach offers a fundamental advantage. More than 20 brand stores and pop-ups deliver great, in-person sales and service experiences. Management has plans to continue opening stores and pop-ups to support expansion plans, a strategy that has benefited other Norwest portfolio companies like Vuori, Madison Reed, Casper and Kendra Scott.
Taco and Ties are experienced, talented entrepreneurs, leading the charge into a massive, fast-growing market with a compelling product. We are thrilled to help bring the pride of Amsterdam to more consumers in the US and worldwide.