Last-mile electric cargo bike startup Vok Bikes has closed a €3.8m (US$4.1m) seed round, including Estonia’s SmartCap, Jaan Tallinn’s Metaplanet, Specialist VC, Sunly, a list of angel investors and a €300,000 (US$325,000) grant by Enterprise Estonia.
Vok Bikes recently launched a model with five times the cargo space in the UK, entering a new customer segment of multinational freight companies and large-scale e-commerce businesses. With the support of the new funding and the first set of deliveries already underway in the new client segment, Vok Bikes is on track to release 1000 more cargo bikes across Europe in 2024.
Created by a team of former Student Formula engineers, Vok Bikes is focused on custom developments rather than off-the-shelf parts, from batteries to the brake system, and has reports that it has reduced the total cost of ownership (TCO), bringing the maintenance interval down to once a quarter, compared to the average three- to four-week intervals. Vok Bikes has introduced new features such as ABS braking system and traction to the micro-mobility sector, which is increasingly concerned with the safety of couriers.
As local governments strive toward carbon neutrality and implement measures like congestion charges and parking costs to promote sustainability, companies across diverse industries, including food and parcel delivery, property management, maintenance and repair services, are increasingly adopting cargo bikes, Vok states. According to the company, the electric bike market is under heavy scrutiny, but the electric cargo bike market – worth over €1.2bn (US$1.3bn) in Europe – is on a steady growth path. In Europe, the B2B cargo bike market grew by more than 100% in 2022 and Germany alone saw 200,000 cargo bikes released to the market in 2022.
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. Vok Bikes clearly contributes to solving environmental problems with the development of cargo bikes, particularly in the transportation sector as cargo volumes are increasing and there is a need for new solutions due to changed market demand and purchasing practices. Therefore, it is a logical step for us to contribute to innovation in the transportation sector and participate in the current seed round.”
Indrek Petjärv, co-founder and CEO of Vok Bikes, said, “Our bikes enable trips with 24 times fewer CO2 emissions, five times lower kilometer cost, and are simply 60% faster compared to cars in urban settings. 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. It is a testament that Vok bikes are reliable and operationally efficient.”
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