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Former Student Formula engineers’ Estonian startup secures €3.8M funding for cost-efficient cargo bikes

Vox Bikes Team
Picture credits: Vox Bikes

Vok Bikes, an Estonian startup founded by a team of former Student Formula engineers, is making waves in the electric cargo bike industry with its innovative and environmentally friendly approach. The company recently announced the successful closure of a seed round, securing a total of €3.8 million in funding. This significant investment comes from a range of prominent investors, including SmartCap, Metaplanet that backed DTE and Aerones, Specialist VC, Sunly, a list of angel investors, and a generous grant of €300,000 from Enterprise Estonia.

One of the key investors, SmartCap, recognised Vok Bikes’ commitment to solving environmental problems and achieving climate goals. Sille Pettai, Fund Manager and Member of the Board of SmartCap said, “SmartCap Green Fund, established in 2022, focuses on fostering investments into startups whose activities help to solve environmental problems and achieve the set climate goals.”

As governments strive for carbon neutrality and implement sustainable measures like congestion charges and parking costs, various industries are turning to cargo bikes as an eco-friendly alternative. While the electric bike market faces scrutiny, the electric cargo bike market in Europe is experiencing steady growth, with a valuation of over €1.2 billion. In 2022, the B2B cargo bike market witnessed remarkable expansion, surpassing 100%, and Germany alone released 200,000 cargo bikes into the market.

Indrek Petjärv, co-founder and CEO of Vok Bikes, shared the environmental advantages of their bikes. Compared to cars in urban settings, Vok Bikes’ cargo bikes emit 24 times fewer CO2 emissions, have 5 times lower kilometer costs, and are 60% faster. “We are happy to serve customers in cities across Europe – from London to Munich and Amsterdam to Stockholm – many of whom have been with us for years, including Wolt, Donkey Republic, Mathem, Foodora, and Estonia’s postal service Omniva.”

In a strategic move to expand its customer base, Vok Bikes recently introduced a new model in the UK, boasting five times the cargo space. This expansion allows the company to tap into multinational freight companies and large-scale e-commerce businesses. With the support of the recent funding, Vok Bikes has already commenced deliveries in this new segment and aims to release an additional 1000 cargo bikes across Europe in the coming year.

Setting themselves apart from competitors, Vok Bikes prioritises custom developments throughout their bikes, from batteries to the brake system. This approach has significantly reduced the total cost of ownership, with maintenance intervals reduced to once a quarter, a notable improvement compared to the industry standard of 3-4 week intervals.

Further, their cargo bikes incorporate unique electronic driving aids, making them the safest on the market. To address the growing concerns regarding courier safety in the micro-mobility sector, Vok Bikes has introduced features such as an ABS braking system and traction control, enhancing the overall safety and reliability of their bikes.

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