The bicycle boom has only just begun. At least that’s what a group of international financial investors apparently believe and invest a total of 128 million dollars, the equivalent of a good 108 million euros, in the Dutch electric bike company Van Moof. One of the donors is Gillian Tans, the former head of the booking portal Booking.com. This is by far the largest funding Van Moof has received to date. Almost a year ago, the company, founded in 2009, received around 34 million euros from a group of UK and US donors.
The money should now be spent on continued global growth, he said. To this end, Van Moof wishes to expand its own production and development. In the spring of 2020, the company launched its first models of fully self-developed electric bikes. Contrary to usual practice, components such as gears, brakes, calipers, etc. are no longer simply purchased and installed from suppliers, but are independently designed and then produced by subcontractors. This should make the company more independent and electric bikes cheaper. In addition, the Dutch, who originally started only with online sales of their bikes, increased the number of their service centers in major cities around the world to 50 last year. The goal now is to expand the company’s production and sell a total of ten million Van Moof bikes over the next five years, according to co-founder Taco Carlier.
Delivery bottlenecks recently slowed growth
Driven by the corona pandemic and the climate debate, e-bike sales figures in particular have increased dramatically in recent years. According to the Zweirad-Industrie-Verband (ZIV), around 1.2 million e-bikes were sold in Germany alone in the first half of 2021, an increase of nine percent. And it could have been even more: Due to delivery bottlenecks, it was not possible to meet all the demand, the association reported. By 2020, sales had increased by more than 40%. Growth is expected to continue for years to come – not just in Germany, industry watchers say: Estimates assume the global e-bike market could grow from $ 40 billion to $ 70 billion by 2027 .
The industry is only slowed down by supply problems. According to the ZIV, the situation of raw materials, components and parts will remain tense in the medium term. For example, bicycle and automobile manufacturers are suffering from the global shortage of computer chips. The situation will probably not normalize only towards the end of next year. It could therefore be interesting for Van Moof to invest in internal development and production.