French firm Upway has raised €5m to set up a second-hand marketplace devoted to e-bikes. The firm will offer bikes reconditioned to industry standards with a one-year warranty.
When it comes to retail, e-bikes are increasingly being treated as a bit of a halfway house between cars and bikes.
Higher purchase prices have given rise to subscription models akin to car leasing. Now cost and concern about the condition of components like motors and batteries has given rise to the e-bike equivalent of one of those second-hand car ‘supermarkets’.
These kinds of businesses recondition vehicles before they sell them again. Buyers therefore have greater peace of mind about the roadworthiness of their purchases.
Upway was founded earlier this year by Toussaint Wattinne and Stephane Ficaja, former executives from Uber and Uber Eats.
TechCrunch reports that they’ll initially operate from a warehouse in Gennevilliers near Paris, but it’s easy to see this being a business model that either expands or which is replicated by others.
The initial €5m has been raised through Sequoia Capital and Global Founders Capital.
Luciana Lixandru, Partner at the former, explained: “Combating the climate crisis is a key mission for our generation and the shift to e-mobility is a must.
“However, supply hasn’t scaled with demand and millions of consumers are looking for reliable second-hand electric vehicles. Upway allows people to buy a preloved e-bike, in excellent condition and under warranty.”
Wattinne added: “With Upway, we are removing the barriers to purchasing electric bikes once and for all by providing a wide range of models that have been reconditioned in France, at affordable prices and which can be ordered online, for delivery to your home.
“We’re also committed to supporting French people in their desire to change the way they shop, at a time of increasing awareness of environmental issues.”