Dutch e-bike startup VanMoof has declared bankruptcy
Another bleak chapter for VanMoof, the e-bike business backed by hundreds of millions of dollars in venture funding. On 17 July 2023, the court of Amsterdam officially declared bankruptcy for the company’s Dutch legal companies. They included VanMoof Global Holding B.V., VanMoof B.V., and VanMoof Global Support B.V. The decision was made after making a last-minute bid to avoid bankruptcy last week. The court has appointed two trustees, Mr. Padberg, and Mr. De Wit, who will look into selling assets to a third party to keep VanMoof running.
An Obstacle to Growth Acceleration
VanMoof was founded by two Dutch brothers who described themselves as “Europe’s fastest-growing company. ” They reported at the beginning of last week on how the corporation had suspended sales, originally saying that technical issues were the cause. But they later alleged that the delay was purposeful, to catch up on production and orders.
Ties Carlier, CEO of VanMoof, said earlier this year that his worst professional error was underestimating how tough it might be to disrupt an established business. He said, “I intended to build a better bike and then control the industry. But we’re just getting started”.
Future of VanMoof
Cowboy, a Belgian e-bike manufacturer, created a Bikey app to assist the claimed 190,000 VanMoof clients globally. This will allow the customers to keep their unique digital key and unlock their e-bikes even if VanMoof’s servers go down. “This is about keeping bikes on the road, which is our number one mission as a company, whether it’s a competitor or not.” Cowboy Co-Founder and CTO Tanguy Goretti admitted.
Benoit Yameundjeu, CEO of Fifteen and freshly appointed board member of Cycling Industries Europe, said, “VanMoof has significantly raised the bar by offering a high-quality connected e-bike experience. It is unfortunate to see the firm in this state.” Users have been assured that their bikes will remain operational and rideable, as the firm intends to keep its servers operational.
Aside from the FAQ, it’s unclear where bankruptcy will leave those who have yet to receive their bikes. This is a difficult scenario for VanMoof, especially since some bikes cost up to $4,000. The firm has now produced a support document that provides an overview of the present position and future implications.