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After declaring bankruptcy early in 2023, VanMoof is set to make a comeback.
In August 2023, the Dutch electric bike manufacturer was acquired by Lavoie, the electric scooter unit of Formula One engineering and technology firm McLaren Applied.
Lavoie announced in a press statement this month that it will now start plans “to make VanMoof fit for the future,” adding, “We couldn’t be more excited about what lies ahead.”
The new co-CEOs, Elliott Wertheimer and Albert Nassar, will work closely with McLaren Applied’s Non-Executive Chairman, Nick Fry, to bring the famous e-bike brand back to life.
“We’ve spent the last month working around the clock to understand what needs to be done at VanMoof in both the short and the long term. We’ve been reassembling teams, reaching out to stakeholders across the world, and putting plans in place to build a sustainable but also crucially a viable operation going forwards.
“There’s a lot of work to do in a short space of time, but we want to do it right rather than quickly,” Lavoie added in the statement.
The company is working on restarting the production of VanMoof e-bikes, and a selection of models will be available for purchase in the near future.
“Over the coming months, we’ll be rebuilding the supply chain for accessories and spare parts. Simultaneously, our R&D (research and development) teams in Amsterdam, Taipei, and London will start on plans to develop new models that will focus on reliability, design, and world-class engineering,” Lavoie added.
Q&A on VanMoof Return
Will I still be able to get my VanMoof bike repaired?
Yes, you will be able to get your bike repaired very soon. Lavoie is in talks to restart the production of spare parts – some of which will be redesigned and improved. The company is also creating a platform to share information about its technology to allow third-party retailers worldwide to fully repair and service your VanMoof.
My VanMoof bike is still under warranty. What does VanMoof’s restart mean for me?
The responsibility for warranties taken out under previous management sits with the prior company, which is in bankruptcy. Lavoie is, however, fully committed to keeping riders on the road. By removing the dependency on VanMoof’s previous infrastructure and opening up its technology to global service networks and local bike shops, Lavoie will give riders greater freedom of service.
I bought a VanMoof bike before the bankruptcy, and it wasn’t delivered. What happens now?
Unfortunately, undelivered bikes remain tied to the prior company. Trustees – or their local equivalent – in markets where VanMoof was declared bankrupt are building lists of creditors, including affected customers. If you paid for your purchase with a credit card or a payment service like PayPal you may be entitled to a refund. Reach out to these parties directly for more details.
I lease a VanMoof e-bike. What does the restart mean for me?
If you’re riding a leased VanMoof, your agreement is with the lease provider. Lavoie advises contacting your lease provider with any questions regarding your bike, service, or warranty. Lavoie aims to make the service and parts widely available soon.
I’m a US-based VanMoof rider: what does the restart mean for me?
VanMoof’s US entity was not declared bankrupt, so in a sense, it is ‘business as usual’ for VanMoof in this market. Having said that, Lavoie is aware that this market has seen disruptions because of the bankruptcy of the Dutch holding company. It is trying to get this market back to normal as soon as possible.
What Happened to VanMoof: A Timeline
- 2009: VanMoof is founded by Taco and Ties Carlier in Amsterdam, Netherlands. The brothers aimed to create electric bikes that would revolutionize urban commuting.
- 2010: VanMoof raises £2 million in its first funding round, attracting investors who see the potential in the emerging electric bike market.
- 2011: The company introduces its first series of electric bikes, the VanMoof Electrified S and X, which received positive reviews for their sleek design and innovative features.
- 2012: VanMoof expands its operations internationally, opening its first store outside of the Netherlands in Tokyo, Japan.
- 2015: VanMoof raises an additional £4 million in a funding round led by European venture capital firm Slingshot, allowing for further expansion and development.
- 2017: The company launches the VanMoof Electrified S2 and X2 models, which gained widespread attention and positive feedback from the cycling community.
- 2018: VanMoof announces significant losses, revealing that it spent more on research and development, production, and marketing than it generated in revenue.
- 2019: Despite the financial setbacks, VanMoof secures £34 million in a Series B funding round, led by venture capital firms Norwest Venture Partners and Balderton Capital.
- 2020: The company experiences a surge in demand for its electric bikes, driven by the global COVID-19 pandemic and increased interest in alternative transportation options.
- 2021: VanMoof partners with various retailers, including Best Buy in the United States and Halfords in the United Kingdom, to expand its distribution channels and reach a wider customer base.
- 2022: VanMoof raises an additional £62 million in a Series C funding round, led by London-based investor firm Hillhouse Investment.
- 2023: The company continues to face fierce competition in the e-bike market, with new entrants and established players vying for market share. VanMoof announces cost-cutting measures and restructures its operations to improve financial performance.
- 17 July 2023: The court of Amsterdam withdrew the suspension of payment processing, a move used to try and rescue what remains of the company, and officially declared bankruptcy. They’ll now explore options to try and save the company – VanMoof entities outside of the Netherlands aren’t in insolvency proceedings.
- August 2023: Lavoie, the electric scooter unit of Formula One engineering and technology firm McLaren Applied, confirms that it has bought VanMoof.
- November 2023: Lavoie announces it’s working on bringing the VanMoof brand back to life soon.