Update, August 2: Earlier today VanMoof emailed customers to confirm that the company was being put into liquidation.
The message, signed by The VanMoof team, says that the company understands that "these are uncertain times" for its customers, adding that the team is "working out the best way forward" with regard to the e-bikes locked in its Battersea store since the landlord repossessed it last week.
Original story: Troubled Dutch e-bike maker VanMoof has filed for insolvency in the UK — but the emergence of at least one potential buyer suggests the status-symbol e-bikes might soon find a new home.
According to an update posted on the VanMoof website, the company has been placed under a Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidation, where directors voluntarily decide to formally close an insolvent company. It comes two weeks after the company declared bankruptcy in its home country of the Netherlands.
The insolvency announcement has not been shared on any of VanMoof’s social media channels, nor communicated to customers via email as of publication time. Sifted has reached out to VanMoof’s PR and UK team for comment.
Meanwhile, the company's search for a potential buyer has found a first offer. Nasdaq-listed Micromobility.com, which offers e-scooters, e-bikes and e-mopeds for short- and long-term rentals and sales, said on Monday that it had submitted a non-binding bid to acquire the bankrupt startup.
Micromobility says it’s now preparing to propose a binding acquisition offer.
"This potential acquisition is part of our long-term strategy to consolidate our leadership in the micromobility market and diversify our portfolio of solutions. VanMoof's strong brand reputation, innovative e-bike technology, and its unique subscription model perfectly align with our vision for the future of urban transport," the company’s CEO, Salvatore Palella, said in a statement.
Consumer chaos continues
Late last week, a sign on the door of the company’s flagship London store revealed that it had been repossessed by the owners because the rent had been forfeited, one source tells Sifted, and customers had until August 3 to collect their bikes before the landlords sold or disposed of them.
Though many were given appointments by Battersea Power Station to collect their bikes on Sunday, they received another email, seen by Sifted, from the estate agents on Sunday saying that all collections would now be handled by the VanMoof team.
Another email from the estate agents sent on Monday redirected VanMoof customers to contact the company’s CEO, Taco Carlier, “who should be able to assist with your requirements”.
VanMoof did not reply to a request for a comment.