Struggling Dutch ‘Tesla of e-bikes’ gets creditor reprieve

Dutch electric bicycle maker VanMoof, a once rising star that earned the monicker “Tesla of e-bikes”, has secured protection from creditors and decided to temporarily close brand stores as it struggles financially.

The company had raised $128 million in September 2021 in efforts to expand as it rode a boom in the e-bike sector after the Covid pandemic prompted people to seek alternatives means of transportation.

But it has struggled since then, with Dutch media saying it was plagued by long delivery times for its bikes and a raft of technical issues.

The Amsterday firm lost almost 80 million euros ($89 milliom) in 2021 and the same figure last year, according to financial daily Het Financieele Dagblad.

VanMoof filed for protection from creditors and an Amsterdam court granted a stay of payment on Wednesday.

The company said Wednesday that its management and administrators “are looking for a possible solution so that VanMoof can continue its activities.”

“Due to recent developments, we have decided to temporarily close the brand stores for the safety of our colleagues in the stores,” it said.

“We will contact all customers as soon as possible regarding pending deliveries or repairs,” the company said.

Angry customers gathered in front of VanMoof’s Amsterdam store on Wednesday after news about the company’s financial woes became public, the NOS public broadcaster reported.

Many said they were waiting for their bicycles to be repaired, or demanded their money back for returned products.

“I am here to fetch my bicycle, but they are not allowing me inside,” one angry client told the NOS.

“It’s a shame,” she said.

VanMoof has also temporarily halted the sale of new bikes. — Agence France-Presse

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