VanMoof’s current financial woes can ironically be traced back to the company’s forward thinking and innovative designs. But now that future for these costly and complicated e-bikes is uncertain while the brand teeters on the edge of bankruptcy, other e-bike companies are coming up with equally innovative solutions for them.
We reported earlier this week that VanMoof, a leading Dutch e-bike maker, had stopped taking orders on its site. At the time the company put up a facade that all was well and that the pause in orders was simply to catch up with demand.
But the proverbial wheels fell off the e-bike later in the week when we learned that VanMoof applied for and received a postponement of payment from a Dutch court and was temporarily closing its stores in Europe.
The move doesn’t mean that the company is currently bankrupt, and in fact is a strategy designed to prevent a looming bankruptcy. But in practice, many companies that reach this stage never find the funding necessary to remain afloat and ultimately are forced to declare bankruptcy.
That could be a disaster for the thousands and thousands of VanMoof customers who rely on the company to keep their high-tech electric bikes working.
Now other rival e-bike companies have stepped up with creative solutions.
Blurby Bike, makers of the self-proclaimed “lightest e-bike made in the EU”, are offering VanMoof riders up to 1,000 euros of trade in value for their e-bikes when buying a new Blurby e-bike.
With Blurby’s models priced at between €1,899 and €2,499, that’s a pretty sizable chunk off of the purchase price.
The company explained to Electrek that they hope to be able to stockpile enough VanMoof bikes to service those still on the road.
Another VanMoof rival, Belgian-based Cowboy, has come up with a clever solution to helping VanMoof riders continue to unlock their e-bikes even without a functioning smartphone app. Currently, VanMoof bikes require owners to unlock their bike either directly from the app or with a digital key, which is created by the app.
Cowboy created an app that allows VanMoof owners to generate and save their own digital key, which can be used in place of one created by a VanMoof server.
Riders will need to grab the app now though since it requires an initial connection to the VanMoof server to fetch their current keycode. If the server goes offline, existing Bikey App users can continue to unlock their bikes, but it will no longer be possible for new users to activate it.
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