Rabobank is supporting the ambitious and innovative Dutch bike manufacturer VanMoof with a growth loan worth €12.5 million. The company plans to predominantly use this financing to boost sales of ingenious, sustainable e-bikes outside of the Netherlands.
VanMoof manufactures e-bikes and city bikes with a unique design making them difficult to steal. The bike locks itself when its owner taps against the rear wheel and unlocks itself again when they return to the bike and it “recognizes” them, or when they enter a PIN code into the lock. As soon as someone tries to steal the bike, the alarm sounds.
Use versus ownership
Consumers and businesses can purchase a VanMoof bike or take out a subscription on one. This type of monthly subscription makes it more affordable for people to buy an e-bike who wouldn’t otherwise be able to pay for it outright straight away, and reflects the wishes of increasing numbers of people who prefer to pay for use rather than ownership. This idea is also becoming increasingly popular among businesses in Europe and the United States that would like to provide their employees with a VanMoof bike.
Bikes for greener cities
VanMoof has ambitions beyond just selling bikes. Making cities more sustainable is a fundamental part of its business philosophy, which is why it primarily targets residents in city centers who use motorized transport. A VanMoof bike may be the best sustainable alternative for these commuters, allowing them to contribute to making cities greener and better places to live. This dovetails perfectly with “Growing a better world together”, as Rabobank wants to help entrepreneurs become more sustainable and help sustainable businesses grow. VanMoof's growth loan is a prime example of this.
Global expansion and groundbreaking innovations
The loan will allow the e-bike giant to provide extra support to its rapid expansion abroad, launch state-of-the-art bike models onto the market, and develop innovations, including more powerful motors, more advanced anti-theft technology, continuous software updates via 4G, and anti-theft tracking to locate stolen bikes.
“Rabobank is proud to be able to help this fantastic Dutch growth business with its ambitious plans for expansion in the years ahead,” said Rogier Raaijmakers from Rabo Corporate Investments. “VanMoof fits in perfectly with our portfolio of promising innovative scale-ups that we support with flexible and scalable solutions.”
The loan comes on the back of a successful crowdfunding campaign, which raised €2.5 million for VanMoof in a matter of hours, thanks to the generosity of its bike fans. The company is growing fast, even though it currently employs a mere 140 people. According to VanMoof, its income this year has grown from €11 million to €40 million. Seventy percent of the company's income – with physical stores in Amsterdam, Berlin, London, New York, Paris, San Francisco, Taipei and Tokyo – already comes from abroad.