Dutch electric bike manufacturer VanMoof is facing an uncertain future as it has been declared bankrupt, with administrators now exploring options to salvage the business. The company, which raised 100 million euros or $112.56 million in funding to fuel international expansion, filed for creditor protection last week. On July 17, a judge at the Amsterdam District Court declared VanMoof’s Dutch operations bankrupt, prompting administrators to evaluate potential asset sales, restructuring possibilities, and the feasibility of ongoing operations.
VanMoof bikes, known for their sleek design and integrated battery frames, have gained popularity on the streets of Amsterdam since the company’s founding in 2009. The e-bike maker enjoyed robust sales during the COVID-19 pandemic, selling over 200,000 bicycles worldwide, with prices exceeding 2,000 euros or $2,250 per unit. However, Dutch broadcaster NOS reported that the company struggled with high costs associated with warranty maintenance and repairs.
The bankruptcy announcement has led to a surge in customer complaints to the Amsterdam police. Frustrated customers reported non-delivered bikes and bikes in need of repair at VanMoof’s now-closed stores, resulting in an influx of calls labeled as “theft.” However, the police clarified that bankruptcy is a civil dispute and not a criminal matter, leaving them unable to provide assistance.
VanMoof stated that the bankruptcy only affects its Dutch operations, with international subsidiaries remaining separate from the bankruptcy proceedings. The company declined to provide further comments on the situation. Meanwhile, reports indicated that VanMoof’s founders, Taco and Ties Carlier, expressed gratitude to the company’s employees in an internal email sent to its 700 staff members. While acknowledging their sadness, the founders emphasized their pride in the accomplishments made by the company.
The administrators appointed to oversee VanMoof’s bankruptcy will continue assessing the situation, exploring potential avenues to sell assets, reorganize the company, and potentially save the business. The future of VanMoof and its iconic e-bikes hangs in the balance, as stakeholders closely monitor the outcome of these deliberations.
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