E-bike pioneer VanMoof reports bankruptcy

E-bike manufacturer VanMoof has filed for bankruptcy and Lavoie, an e-scooter company, will take over the company.

VanMoof electric bike

Author: House of Eden

  • E-bike startup VanMoof has filed for bankruptcy after struggling with quality issues and expensive repairs despite successful sales
  • McLaren Applied's Lavoie took over the company in a surprise move, probably at a lower price than the last valuation indicated
  • Although the future of VanMoof is uncertain, the proposed acquisition offers a glimmer of hope.

VanMoof: The failed e-bike pioneer

On July 18th of this year, it was the end for the Dutch E-bike startup VanMoof so far: The company filed for bankruptcy, which many in the urban area mobility industry surprised. VanMoof had made a name for itself with its elegant designs and high-end bikes and had built up a large riding community. The company had sold around 200.000 electric bikes for more than 2.000 euros each. But despite its great success, the company struggled with quality problems and expensive repairs. This put the business model to the test and unsettled customers.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, VanMoof had raised more than $180 million from investors and was seen as a pioneer in the burgeoning e-bike industry. The current bankruptcy not only affected VanMoof's employees and investors, but also suppliers, retailers and customers who had relied on the brand.

Lavoie takes over VanMoof: A new wind in urban mobility

However, VanMoof's salvation came unexpectedly when Lavoie, the electric scooter division from McLaren Applied, which took over the company from bankruptcy. While the exact terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, it is speculated that Lavoie paid an amount in the "tens of millions" (in dollars). That represents a significant drop from the e-bike startup's last estimated valuation in 2021, when Dealroom valued the company at between $512 million and $768 million. The transaction is said to be part of Lavoie's strategy to expand its urban business Mobility to expand, which includes the production of e-bikes and scooters.

The Uncertain Future

Lavoie plans to continue selling e-bikes under the VanMoof brand name and may also re-brand its own scooters under the same name. The reason for this is the loyal following.

Word is that VanMoof will ditch its previous retail model and switch to third-party bike sales and servicing companies. McLaren Applied will also distribute VanMoof's new e-bike models. It remains unclear whether VanMoof's founders will remain involved in the company.

The future of VanMoof is therefore uncertain for the time being. But with the support of Lavoie and McLaren Applied, there is hope that the brand can regain momentum and strengthen its position in the e-bike industry.

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