VanMoof, the e-bike firm that declared bankruptcy in the Netherlands last month, is on the market. Plenty of patrons are rumored to be circling the favored Dutch model, however the one potential bidder making essentially the most noise can be the one least probably to achieve success.
The 2 directors who have been chosen by the Dutch court docket as trustees for VanMoof are telling the native press that a number of bids have been made. “Within the coming days, the bids will probably be in contrast with one another and mentioned with the stakeholders,” stated curators Jan Padberg and Robin de Wit, according to Bright. The intention is to achieve a closing settlement inside a number of days.
“Within the coming days, the bids will probably be in contrast with one another and mentioned with the stakeholders.”
The curators should not revealing any names, however some rumored bidders, in line with Shiny, embody KKR, a US-based funding group that additionally owns Dutch bike conglomerate Accell Group, in addition to bike giants like Trek and Large. There’s additionally rumored curiosity from Germany, although it’s unclear which firm is concerned.
The one identified bidder presently is micromobility.com, which announced that it had submitted a nonbinding offer for VanMoof, citing its “sturdy model status, modern e-bike know-how, and its distinctive subscription mannequin.” However the firm has severe crimson flags, and it’s unclear it has sufficient cash to finish an acquisition.
micromobility.com, previously often called Helbiz, went public in 2021 by merging with a particular function acquisition firm, or SPAC. After the merger, the corporate stated its valuation was $408 million, however its inventory has since plummeted and its market cap now stands at round $8.75 million.
micromobility.com has run into other problems, together with lawsuits, missed payroll, and weird makes an attempt to pivot to new traces of enterprise (Italian soccer, cryptocurrency, and ghost kitchens, to call a number of).
However extra importantly, it doesn’t seem that micromobility.com (sure, lowercase and area title included) really has sufficient cash available to purchase VanMoof. The corporate reported just $647,000 in cash and money equivalents on the finish of March because it continues to put up losses. Its inventory can be presently in the bathroom after a reverse break up, and as of the quarter ending in March 2023, its steadiness sheet exhibits belongings of $36.88 million on liabilities totaling $75.64 million — which means it’s practically $40 million in debt.
The corporate has severe crimson flags, and it’s unclear it has sufficient cash to finish an acquisition
micromobility.com CEO Salvatore Palella was in Amsterdam this week, presumedly to attempt to make a deal, and oddly appears to be attempting to tweet via the entire course of — together with a ballot asking his followers whether or not he ought to stay CEO or step down. (They voted resign; however Palella stated he would “maintain off” on massive choices till VanMoof’s trustees make their choice.)
“As the method unfolds, let’s not overlook the true stakeholders: the customers,” Palella tweeted. “1000’s of undelivered bikes, guarantee points – these aren’t footnotes, they’re headlines. It’s not nearly deep pockets, it’s about shopper belief.”
It’s a pleasant sentiment, however trustees will probably be on the lookout for patrons who’re really in a position to full an acquisition. And VanMoof gained’t be low-cost; as famous by Shiny, tens of thousands and thousands of euros will probably be wanted. The corporate is alleged to have misplaced round 80 million euros in each 2021 and 2022. In whole, virtually 200 million euros have been invested in VanMoof.
Whoever succeeds in buying VanMoof might want to guarantee prospects that their bikes will proceed to work for the long run. The corporate’s bikes require customized elements and specialised service, and a few options, like anti-theft, depend on connectivity to servers that may presumedly shut down if VanMoof is unable to discover a purchaser.
Different firms are swooping in with proposed fixes. Cowboy, a rival e-bike firm from Belgium, released an app that may generate and save a VanMoof proprietor’s distinctive digital key. And Upway, a secondary marketplace for used e-bikes, launched a repair program for VanMoof bike owners. The corporate says it has 500 restore slots over the subsequent 12 or so months in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, and New York Metropolis.