Brussels e-bike start-up raises $80 million in funding round

Brussels e-bike start-up raises $80 million in funding round
Cowboy's three founders. Photo from Cowboy

The Brussels-based e-bike company Cowboy has raised $80 million in a round of funding, according to a press release issued on Thursday. The Belgian start-up hopes to use the money to expand to other European markets.

Cowboy was founded back in January 2017 by three entrepreneurs who describe their mission as “transforming urban mobility by making beautifully designed, lightweight and user-friendly electric bicycles.”

The company began offering its products in Belgium in April 2018 and hit the €1m sales milestone four months later.

Bicycles for people still cautious about e-bikes

“We designed the Cowboy bike to appeal specifically for people who are yet to be convinced that electric bikes are a practical and mainstream mode of transport,” said Adrien Roose, Cowboy’s co-founder and CEO.

“We focused our attention on the three main reasons that people are reluctant to purchase electric bikes: high cost, poor design and redundant technology. We then set about solving those issues.”

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The Cowboy bike was an award winner at the 2017 EuroBike trade fair, where it was praised for its “cool design,” lightweight and value for money. Prices start at €2090.

The company’s founders want to see mass adoption of electric bikes, which they believe are part of the solution to congestion in European cities (Brussels is among the worst in that regard), and a way to make commuting both smarter and more enjoyable.

Electric bikes are catching on

In Belgium, 45% of all new bikes purchased are electric and demand continues to grow. In Europe, 21 million electric bikes are sold annually.

An e-bike by Brussels start-up company Cowboy.

“With superior design, concept and technology, Cowboy has transformed the consumer experience of electric bikes to be super easy, practical and stylish. We look forward to supporting the team as they spread their vision of urban commuting across Europe,” said Lee Fixel, partner at Tiger Global Management.

Additional investors into the Brussels start-up include Oscar Salazar (Uber), Thibaud Elziere (eFounders), Bertrand Jelensperger (LaFourchette), Harold Mechelynck (Ogone), Frederic Potter (Netatmo) and Francis Nappez (BlaBlaCar).

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