Subscription e-bike company Dance has raised a 15 million euro ($17.8 million) Series A round of funding, months after rolling out a pilot of its electric bike program in Europe.
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Dance is an e-bike subscription service where users pay a monthly fee that covers their bike and provides an all-inclusive support package. The subscription includes a bike concierge, maintenance and theft replacement insurance, via the company’s own hardware and software which allows for fast repairs through its warehouse and logistics setup.
“We see the company as a purpose company. Our role is to transform cities, that’s really what it’s about,” co-founder Eric Quidenus-Wahlforss said in an interview with Crunchbase News. “We want to create a connected community of riders.”
The company was founded by SoundCloud co-founders Eric Quidenus-Wahlforss and Alexander Ljung, along with Jimdo co-founder Christian Springub and is based in Berlin. Dance rolled out its invite-only pilot program in July.
Dance decided to go the subscription route because of the cost and hassle of owning an e-bike, which costs around 2,000 or 3,000 euros, Quidenus-Wahlforss said. It also drew on the co-founders’ experience starting SoundCloud–at the time, most people were buying music. A couple of years later, there was an inflection point where it became clear that people would subscribe to music.
“You have a whole new generation of people who have a ‘subscribe everything’ mindset and those are really our customers,” Quidenus-Wahlforss said. “This could be very significant in the future.”
The COVID-19 in pandemic has led some people to seek out alternative modes of transportation besides cars, and bikes are a socially distant way to travel. Biking in general is good on multiple levels, Quidenus-Wahlforss said, for both the individual and for cities. Bikes are quieter and don’t pollute the atmosphere, after all.
The new funding will be used to accelerate research and development, do more on the hardware and software side of the business, and scale up the size of the e-bike fleet. The company has a global ambition, Quidenus-Wahlforss said, but Germany is its first market before it expands into other countries.
HV Holtzbrinck Ventures led the new round of funding.
Illustration: Li-Anne Dias