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Exclusive: VanMoof wants to sell under court protection because it can't pay the bills

Exclusive: VanMoof wants to sell under court protection because it can't pay the bills

VanMoof – the Amsterdam-based e-bike maker that once claimed to be the "most funded e-bike company in the world" – has applied to the Dutch courts for legal protection to give the company time to pay its bills. applied. According to a source familiar with the matter, the company is exploring all possible avenues, including a possible sale, to get rid of its debt. All options are on the table as the company looks for a way to survive.

The company is also temporarily closing its brand stores. Amid rumors of trouble, angry customers flocked to VanMoof's flagship Amsterdam store and service center (and former global headquarters) on Wednesday to claim their bikes that were brought in for service weeks ago. This cage is for the safety of the vanmoof staff.

The so-called preliminary "Sercens van Beteling" (which translates to "suspension of payments") entered by VanMoof is usually granted for a period of up to 18 months and – crucially – helps companies avoid bankruptcy. helps. Designed to help. However, it is also often the first step towards bankruptcy proceedings. Under Dutch law, creditors cannot claim their debts during the suspension of payment period, which ends after all creditors have been paid, a final settlement with creditors has been reached (private or judicial), or when The company is declared bankrupt.

According to a reputable source, brothers and co-founders Ties and Taco Carlier will still run the company, while Taco will continue to serve as CEO. However, the day-to-day leadership team would include a court-appointed administrator who would have veto power over any decision to spend the money. The administrator has been appointed to advise Carliers and help negotiate with creditors and manage the estate.

Employees were alerted to this news via a companywide email sent today. The Verge has learned that this is business as usual for them during the payment moratorium period.

According to the now-archived announcement,'s former CEO Gillian Tennes, who joined VanMoof in the role of president in 2022 to "lead and oversee the company's management team," will leave the company in May 2023, as First reported by Dutch. , This has been confirmed by -language publication Het Financielle Dagblad, or FD, and sources speaking to The Verge. His appointment just a year earlier was intended to usher in VanMoof's "next phase of global growth", with Ties focusing on product innovation and Taco focusing on global business strategy.

As of Monday, VanMoof was negotiating with outside parties to avoid the suspension of payment proceedings. This was the same day TechCrunch reported on VanMoof's growing financial troubles and an unexpected halt to sales of all e-bikes, including the SA5 and the new SX4 series. (It's not clear when sales will resume.) According to the FD, the company was forced to raise money from its existing investors earlier this year, and last week, VanMoof reportedly asked retail investors Had taken loan. Interest payment missed.

Destruction has been predicted throughout the week as a result of news of VanMoof's growing troubles without an official response from the company. Members of the popular VanMoofing Facebook group were angered by the headlines and urged each other to take protective action like exporting their Bluetooth encryption keys. A top contributor's post argued, "If VanMoof becomes unable to cover the cost of its servers, these keys could be lost forever, leaving countless bikes as electronic waste and requiring recovery." will be needed." There will be no means."

In 2016, at the launch of VanMoof's first e-bike, Ties Carlier told The Verge, "Me and my brother, we really believe in growing [the business] slowly." But over the years, it has changed to a growth at all costs approach, fueled by multiple rounds of funding that have raised more than $200 million from investors. But the same investors are no longer willing to invest in unprofitable futures funds indefinitely due to rising interest rates and gloomy economic outlook. This is bad news for VanMoof, which reportedly sells its e-bikes at a loss due to quality issues that require costly warranty repairs. The company has reportedly lost around €78 million every year for the past two years.

The days of startups grabbing market share and then worrying about profits are over, not just for VanMoof but also for other e-bike darlings like Red Power, which moved out of Europe to drive down costs. While Ties and the Taco brothers may still be in charge of VanMoof, the company's investors are now in the driver's seat, and they want to get paid.

1 comment:

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