VanMoof pauses ebike sales, sparking rumours of bankruptcy

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Dutch ebike startup VanMoof has paused sales of its bikes and all accessories for almost two weeks now, stoking rumours that the business is in financial difficulty. 

Since June 29, visitors to VanMoof’s website have been met with a pop-up explaining that the company has paused orders to catch up with current demand. 

“We have temporarily paused sales to catch up on the production and delivery of existing orders. Rest assured – this has no effect on servicing,” says the notification.

But, according to TechCrunch, which cited “multiple sources,” VanMoof might be running out of cash, despite being one of the world’s most-funded ebike businesses. 

Several senior staff members at VanMoof, including its CEO, president, and a co-founder, have reportedly left the business, the sources told TechCrunch.   

Heated discussions have erupted on social media like Reddit and Twitter as to whether the company is on the verge of bankruptcy. So far, the ebike maker has remained tight-lipped.

Has VanMoof gone bust? Maybe.

The store has been down for 5 days due to “unscheduled maintenance”. Booking a repair says they have no parts.

Now a notice says “sales on pause” so they catch up on production – this from the company famous for using preorders as working capital.

— Phillip Caudell (@phillipcaudell) July 5, 2023

This wouldn’t be the first time VanMoof has found itself in financial trouble. The company suffered a loss of €78mn in 2022, requiring a new capital injection from investors. In 2023, it asked investors for more money (between €10-40mn), but, according to Pitchbook data, only secured a little over €5mn.

VanMoof is now working on securing a bridge round that will help it stay afloat, the sources told TechCrunch.   

Even if the ebike producer does secure new funds, that could just delay the inevitable. Dutch financial publication FD noted, in January, that the accounts showed VanMoof was actually losing money on each of its bikes, due to the cost of repair.  

The company’s premium ebikes are highly customised. Until recently, VanMoof did not supply parts to bicycle repair shops, leaving customers dependent on VanMoof’s own repair service. This has led to logistical headaches and long lead times.  

A scan of social media unearths hundreds of customers complaining about long lead times for their VanMoof orders. Credit: Pierre Orsander

Judging by the number of outraged customers taking to social media, some of whom claim to have been waiting over six months for their bike to be delivered or even just repaired, it seems VanMoof might be too popular for its own good.  

At this point, it’s easy to speculate what could have led to the drastic decision to pause sales at the height of summer — peak season for bike sales. I guess, for now, we’ll have to sit tight and wait to hear it from the horse’s mouth. 

VanMoof did not immediately respond to our request for comment.