Tag Archive: Funding

  1. TAITO launches Indiegogo e-scooter kickstart campaign

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    Source: Indiegogo

    LEVA-EU member, TAITO, has successfully launched its e-scooter kickstart scheme through Indiegogo. The Belgian start-up aims to take commuters to their destination in a safer, more enjoyable, and efficient manner. The e-scooter incorporates a three-wheel design and a wide bamboo standing platform – these features allow riders to feel more secure as they travel.

    At the time of writing, TAITO had reached its primary funding goal of €20,000, with over a month remaining for additional backers and investors to join the campaign.

    Visit the TAITO kickstart page here.

  2. Close to 400 applications for cargo bike subsidy in Saxony, Germany

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    Source: SAZ Bike

    Over 2021, a total 386 funding applications were submitted in Saxony by clubs, companies, municipal and special-purpose associations.

    Since March 2021, Saxony has offered a subsidy of up to 500 euros for bicycles and up to 1500 euros for pedelecs. Organizations can apply to have up to five companions sponsored each year, with a further 700,000 euros available in 2022 to continue building on the scheme’s success. Economics Minister Martin Dulig (SPD) shared, “The continuously high number of applications shows that there is a great need for such means of transport. Especially in urban areas, the cargo bike has great potential as an agile and environmentally friendly means of transport.”

    While there has been minor criticism of the program as it finds its feet, there is no denying the transformative effect it is having on communities in Saxony. Highlighting the massive potential of green transport methods.

  3. STILRIDE raises £2.5m to produce sustainable e-motorcycles using ‘industrial origami’ robotics technology

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    Swedish technology and design startup STILRIDE has raised £2.5m to produce sustainable electric motorcycles and scooters using a groundbreaking process dubbed ‘industrial origami’. The trailblazing manufacturing technique involves robots that are able to fold single sheets of recyclable steel into intricate, lightweight, and durable new structures – significantly reducing the environmental impact of production. This process is being used to create the chassis and body for a fleet of next-generation e-motorcycles which will be made available to consumers in Europe later this year.

    This £2.5m seed round was joined by angels and private investors that include Gustaf Hagman, Saeid Esmaeilizadeh, Sam Bonnier, and Andreas Adler.

    STILRIDE’s pioneering industrial origami technology, called STILFOLD, is the brainchild of best friends Tue Beijer and Jonas Nyvang, whose backgrounds span the worlds of fashion, industrial design, and engineering. With STILRIDE, the duo aims to reimagine how high-performance electric-mobility products are manufactured and distributed using cutting-edge steelwork, advanced robotics, and ambitious design.

    The injection of funding will be used to bring the startup’s first product to the mass market: the futuristic Sport Utility Scooter One (SUS1). Unlike traditional scooters (which consist of a tubular frame and plastic body), the SUS1 is constructed by folding sheets of stainless steel over curves, much like origami. Not only does this result in a durable body and distinctive aesthetic, but it also requires fewer raw materials and reduces labor costs. Compared to a traditional scooter, the SUS1 requires 70% fewer components, driving a 25% reduction in labor costs and a 20% reduction in material costs.

    E-motorcycles are the first application of STILRIDE’s proprietary STILFOLD technology. Next, STILRIDE will use this technique to add Cargo Bikes and trailers to its product offering.

    To reduce the product’s carbon footprint, the company is aiming to create a production process that allows the steel sheets to be flat-packed and shipped to local factories across Europe where they’ll be folded and fitted with a hub motor and battery pack. Already, the climate impact of developing the SUS1’s chassis is 50% lower than that of traditional scooters.

    There are already 90,000 people on the waiting list for the STILRIDE SUS1 e-scooter, with the first pre-series set to be released to customers in the autumn of 2022.

    Jonas Nyvang, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of STILRIDE, comments:

    “STILRIDE sits at the intersection of technology, mobility, and design. My co-founder Tue first introduced the idea for the scooter to me at a dinner in 2019. He sketched out how it could be manufactured using origami folding and built a model out of paper. It’s surreal to have now created a high-spec electric motorcycle that’s true to that original vision. It meets our commitment to sustainability whilst also having a radical and distinctive design identity. Not only is it unisex, but it’s uni-age. It’s designed for everyone and we hope it can be an accessible entry point to the world of scooters and motorcycles for those with an eye for style and a love of nature.

    “The STILFOLD technology is best described as a dance between robots and steel. We have created a process that builds high-performance, sustainable personal mobility products that are also durable, lightweight, and desirable. The SUS1 is the first application of the technology and the ambition is to apply it to cargo bikes and trailer products.

    “Using STILFOLD, manufacturers can minimize resource consumption and waste, cut down on labor costs and ultimately reduce the environmental impact of production. We’re launching in Europe first as it’s a market that relies heavily on outsourcing and has much to gain from increasing its domestic manufacturing capabilities. Next, we will look to expand into other international markets.

    “We’re incredibly proud to be working with such esteemed investors to push ahead with production of this first product and get it in the hands of customers. It’s an exciting time to be in the green mobility space and we’re ready to make our mark.”

    Saeid Esmaeilizadeh, entrepreneur and STILRIDE investor, comments:

    “There is a very strong team behind this whole solution, which made the choice to invest easy. They have found a solution to build lighter electric vehicles which is a key challenge for the whole transportation industry. In addition, the first product’s place in the market is a total no-brainer.”

    Gustaf Hagman, serial entrepreneur, business angel, and investor, comments:

    “Their Green Steel production technique STILFOLD is groundbreaking and there are endless application areas, this is just the beginning”.

  4. Sustainable mobility sweeps through Vienna’s chimney industry

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    With the financial backing of the city, hundreds of chimney sweeps in Vienna will be provided with electric cargo bikes to aid in their profession.

    Source: The Mayor

    Chimney sweeps in Vienna play a critical role in maintaining the city’s heating/energy efficiency/air quality paradigm. The sweeps secure the safety of close to 12,000 Viennese households that run fireplaces as their heating source. This service prevents fires and dangerous levels of carbon monoxide; additionally, well-maintained systems use 10% less fuel.

    The wide range of transport and parking options associated with e-cargo bikes, alongside adequate storage for the necessary industry tools, places the bikes as a cost-effective alternative to a car for chimney sweeps working within the city centre.

    Cash from the Vienna Green Electricity Fund is being used to support chimney sweeping companies as they switch to e-cargo bikes, having already financed 300 bikes across 260 companies. A further 180 companies are pending approval for e-cargo funding, pushing a total of 440 chimney-sweeping companies towards a greener, and cheaper, method of operation.

  5. Freeflow Technologies set to begin production following £1.65m funding boost

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    Source: Cycling Industry News

    Existing investors have contributed a further £1.6 million in funding to see Freeflow Technologies, who produce electric bike motor drives, launch into Q1 2022 production.

    David Hemming, managing director at Freeflow Technologies told C.I.N., “This funding round puts us in production and ready to begin selling into the market from Q1 of 2022. 70 brands currently have our unit on their radar for integration and it may well have been more had mainland Europe been without Covid complications. I am looking forward to being able to travel with our demo units to introduce the system further next year.”

    He added, “Our investors could see that, despite the headwinds of the pandemic, that Freeflow has moved positively and at a time where opportunities exist in an exciting space. Freeflow Technologies is here to challenge and while we’ll start with some of the market’s more agile brands, in time we’ll come to feature on some of the industry’s blue chip brands. For e-Bike designers, we have a system that is very plug and play and can work in harmony with a brand’s existing battery or switch suppliers.”

    Boasting an ever-growing team and talent-pool, Freeflow Technologies is set to produce 2,000 mid-motor units via its Scottish production line in 2022. Having already been utilised in the Twmpa Cycles’ wooden electric bike, all eyes are watching to see where this UK motor will appear next.

  6. FreeFlow Technologies secures £1.85M funding

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    30 November 2020 – FreeFlow Technologies (FFT), the developers of the world’s lightest power to weight e-bike motor and LEVA-EU Member has secured £1.85m from a heavily over-subscribed funding round. FFT prepares to capture a share of the rapidly growing global electric cycle market.

    The new investment will support a move to a new headquarters and R&D facility in East Kilbride and further strengthen the team with senior technical positions and assembly engineers recruited.

    FFT’s “novel” patented e-bike transmission system is more lightweight, compact and provides a higher power density than other products, with the motor and battery easily assembled into the bicycle frame rather than an oversized attachment as is common with current electric bikes. This achieves a look that makes the e-bike look, and ride like a normal bike, a key requirement for brands and their end customers. The company has also developed an unprecedented mechanical transmission system for fixed wheel bikes that allows the rider to freewheel, whilst retaining the smooth ride quality of fixed wheel.

    Martin McCourt, Chairman of FreeFlow Technologies said: “The e-Bike market is booming as many sections of society seek alternatives to public transport and take a greater interest in their personal health. Great trends that truly benefit our citizens and our environment. The FreeFlow drive system transforms the look and riding performance of e Bikes. Now an e-Bike can look like a normal bike, and ride like one!”

    There are already a number of brands working on frame designs to incorporate the new FreeFlow Technologies ETS (Electronic Transmission System) into bikes for launch into the market in 2021.

    The new funding round was led by investment syndicate Kelvin Capital and supported by Equity Gap, Foresight Williams and Scottish Enterprise.  The company raised £1.8m in an earlier funding round in October 2018.

    John McNicol from Kelvin Capital said:  “The events of 2020 has brought an unexpected rise in the number of people cycling and, in particularly e-Bike sales, something that hasn’t been seen since the 2012 Olympics.  Kelvin Capital is delighted to back FreeFlow Technologies with this investment round.  It is a business bringing innovation to a well-established market with an impressive management team including the ex-senior exec team of Dyson and business leadership from major cycling brands such as Cannondale, Rapha, Marin Bikes and Whyte Bikes.”

    David Hemming, Managing Director of FreeFlow Technologies:  “Before Covid hit the world the e-bike sector was forecasted to grow by double digits each year for the foreseeable future however the global pandemic has changed the way people think about bikes across all walks of life.  The needs of exercise and wellbeing and the need for a viable transportation options to and from work that is an alternative to public transport are now high on the public’s mind. David added: “The Covid pandemic has also accelerated the cargo/last mile delivery sector as well with many companies looking to get deliveries from suppliers to end consumers with increased urgency and efficiency.  This sector is also on a huge growth curve with e-Bikes being seen as a significant part of that solution, particularly in urban areas of the world.”

  7. VanMoof raises $40m to further capitalize on worldwide e-bike boom

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    Amsterdam and Palo Alto, September 2020 – LEVA-EU member VanMoof, announced a $40 million investment from Norwest Venture Partners, Felix Capital and Balderton Capital. The Series B financing comes just months after a $13.5 million investment in May and bolsters VanMoof for further global expansion, giving the company a stronger e-bike market share in North America, Europe and Japan. Leading the current wave of e-bike adoption, VanMoof is the fastest-growing e-bike brand worldwide and is on course to redefine city mobility forever. The funding brings VanMoof’s total raised to $73 million and furthers the e-bike brand’s ultimate mission of getting the next billion on bikes.

    E-bike boom

    Global demand for premium quality e-bikes is at an all-time high, with two-wheeled commutes now seen as a more dependable option in the wake of COVID-19. Many governments have made major investments in cycling infrastructure during lockdown, underlining how COVID-19 has accelerated plans to get more urban commuters on bikes. Millions have since been invested to open up the streets to cyclists, creating new bike lanes across the globe from New York to Milan, from Mexico City to Berlin. The latest projections expect the e-bike market to surpass $46 billion in the next six years, with a growth rate now twice that of pre-pandemic predictions.

    “E-bike adoption was an inevitable global shift that was already taking place for many years now but COVID-19 put an absolute turbo on it to the point that we’re approaching a critical mass to transform cities for the better,”  Ties Carlier, co-founder VanMoof.

    As category leader, VanMoof has been able to capitalize on this momentum. Not only did VanMoof realize a 220% global revenue growth during worldwide lockdown; VanMoof sold more bikes in the first four months of 2020 than the previous two years combined.

    “Taco, Ties and the VanMoof team have not only built an unparalleled brand and best-selling product, but they’re reshaping city mobility all over the world. We look forward to supporting the VanMoof team as they expand production, boost rider service solutions, and bring their e-bike experience to new markets.” Stew Campbell, Principal at Norwest.

    Service as new frontier

    The Series B funding will be used to meet the increased demand and shorten delivery times. Most importantly, a significant portion of the funding will go towards building a suite of rider service solutions, making best-in-class support one of VanMoof’s key pillars. “Our next frontier is to transform our business by building a full support ecosystem around every rider,” said co-founder Ties Carlier. This ecosystem includes a global mobile service network, more intuitive app support, smarter software with remote diagnostic solutions, and more proactive customer support. 

    The funding will also drive VanMoof’s expansion into key growth markets such as the US and Germany, where new brand stores and pop-up shops will extend the number of customer touch points. Following the expansion of brand stores in Brooklyn, San Francisco and Seattle, a series of pop-ups are planned to open across the US in Spring 2021, in cities like Austin, Chicago, D.C., LA and Portland.

    “VanMoof is a truly category-defining brand that continues to push the boundaries of service and design. VanMoof stands out not only because they master the hardware and software parts of their e-bikes, designing everything in-house, but also because of their guaranteed quality thanks to ownership over the supply chain in between. We’re excited to join the VanMoof team in their journey to accelerate new transport and commuting behaviours across the world.” Antoine Nussenbaum, co-founder of Felix Capital.

    Commuter e-bike disrupter emerges as fastest growing bike brand in wake of COVID-1

    • Series B investment brings VanMoof’s total raised to $73 million, marking next phase of hyper-growth for world’s fastest-growing e-bike brand
    • VanMoof solidifies leadership position, with 10x revenue growth in 24 months hitting $100 million
    • VanMoof reports 220% global revenue growth during worldwide lockdown
    • Surge in demand turns the US into VanMoof’s third fastest growth market, as Americans rapidly adopt e-bikes in wake of COVID-19
    • Global e-bike market forecasted to reach $46B+ by 2026, double that of pre-COVID-19 predictions
    • Funding will be used to increase production, continue product innovation, realize global expansion and implement next-level rider service solutions
  8. Cowboy Raises 23 Million Euro Funding

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    July 2020 – LEVA-EU Member Cowboy, manufacturer of connected electric bikes, announced the completion of its Series B funding round, totalling €23M. Leading the round is Exor Seeds, the early stage investment arm of Exor, controlling shareholder of Ferrari and FCA, HCVC, and Isomer Capital, joined by Future Positive Capital and Index Ventures, each of whom are known to support entrepreneurship and impact innovation in Europe.

    Freeing Cities from Cars through Design & Technology

    Adrien Roose, Co-Founder & CEO, stated:  It was important to attract such a diverse group of world-class investors with a track record in supporting excellence in design and technology as we become the one-stop-shop in urban mobility. What has always set us apart is our focus on design, hardware and software development, and a complete service offering, appealing to an audience that may not have considered an e-bike before. With these funds we will continue to grow our team, our product, and our retail and service footprint across Europe.”

    He continued, “The last three years have seen Cowboy go from an idea of reimagining the electric bike to become a desired brand with a devoted community within the mobility space. We’ve stayed true to our initial vision of providing a better alternative to the car—a shift we will now accelerate and lead.”

    To deliver on this vision and enable a transition from cars to bikes within cities, Cowboy plans to recruit 30+ new talent in the next six months, scale operations, and expand its footprint across Europe through its Test Ride and Mobile Service networks.

    Noam Ohana, who heads Exor Seeds commented, “We’re excited to partner with Cowboy in their mission to bring sustainable transportation to our city streets with beautifully-designed, customer-centric e-bikes. We are witnessing an urban transformation as more bike lanes and other environmentally-forward policies open up our cities to alternative forms of mobility, in which we believe Cowboy will play a key part.”

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