VanMoof, the Dutch e-bike manufacturer, has received further funding to keep its business afloat after auditors refused to sign its financial statements in December - a decision that led to the brand asking its suppliers for payment postponement. The news will come as some reassurance to owners of an e-bike that is awash with proprietary tech and where anti-theft and repair packages are often a key part of the appeal.
The news comes after Dutch media reported that VanMoof was struggling to make ends meet and VanMoof itself admitted there were doubts "about the company's ability to continue its activities beyond the first quarter of 2023" unless further investment were secured.
VanMoof’s most recent 2021 financial figures showed that the e-bike manufacturer was discussing with investors and suppliers to invest a further £8.8m to £35m to keep the company operating. The amount of funding that the company has now secured remains unclear but the developments have sparked a conversation about the reasons for the situation.
The Dutch financial newspaper FD stated that the cost of selling a VanMoof bike sets the brand back more than the bike's retail price. In fact the publication has suggested that VanMoof bikes might spend more time at the shops, being repaired, than on the roads. It states that one in ten bikes was returned to the shop within a year - in large part due to proprietary tech making DIY repairs incredibly difficult. The financial report shows that the brand had earmarked £7m for warranties and repairs in 2021.
VanMoof bike technology is very specific and the bikes need to be repaired at a specialised shop with VanMoof-specific parts. Ebiketips' George reviewed the VanMoof S3 and stated: “You can't even change a tyre without a specific tool to remove the security bolts on each wheel.”
In September 2021, VanMoof titled itself as “the most funded e-bike company in the world” after it had secured a total of $182m (£132m) in investments from Hillhouse Investment, Gillian Tans, Norwest Venture Partners, Felix Capital, Balderton Capital and TriplePoint Capital. The company, which was founded by Taco and Ties Carlier in 2008 changed ownership to Gillian Tans, the former CEO of Booking.com, last year. The Carliers remain responsible for innovation and strategy as co-CEOs.
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