Startup VanMoof Declared Bankrupt In The Netherlands!


Startup VanMoof

As the issue of economic concern deepens across sectors of the economy, the tech space appears to be one of the most impacted. However, this comes as another grim phase for e-bike-focused startup VanMoof backed by venture capitalists in the regions of hundreds of millions of dollars, after a last-hour effort to fend off bankruptcy last week, the court of Amsterdam has taken the step of officially declaring bankruptcy for the company’s Dutch legal entities, VanMoof Global Holding B.V., VanMoof Global Support B.V., and VanMoof B.V.

In an attempt to keep the subject startup running, the court of Amsterdam has now appointed two trustees to explore an asset sale to a third party.

According to reports based on this development, legal entities outside of The Netherlands which are part of the group will not take part in the proceedings. Although, it also raises a concern, as it’s unclear what it means for operations in markets like the United States, however, stores have been closed globally since last week.

The full statement from the company reads:

“On 17 July 2023, the court of Amsterdam withdrew the suspension of payment proceeding of the Dutch legal entities VanMoof Global Holding B.V., VanMoof B.v. and VanMoof Global Support B.V. and declared these entities bankrupt.

The two administrators Mr. Padberg and Mr. De Wit have been appointed as trustees. The trustees are continuing to assess the situation at VanMoof and are investigating the possibilities of a re-start out of bankruptcy by means of an asset sale to third party so that the activities of VanMoof can be continued.

The VanMoof legal entities outside the Netherlands are not in insolvency proceedings.

There will be no further comments at this time.”

Consequently, the development is viewed as another difficult week for the Dutch startup. Earlier last week, it was reported that the company paused sales, initially claiming that technical difficulties were the cause, and then later claiming that the pause was intentional in an attempt to catch up on production and orders.

Reacting to the matter, an increasingly angry customer base took to social media to complain about the quality of the bikes, after-sales care, and much more. An outburst that evolved against the background of a company burning through its cash reserves and struggling to raise more funds in an attempt to fend off insolvency and pay its bills.

Before the week was out, startup VanMoof was in court asking for an official suspension of payment provision to hold off payment bills while it restructured its finances under the direction of administrators.

It is understood, the provision was filed in an attempt to fend off bankruptcy, giving more of the creditors a chance of recovering what they are owed while keeping the company in better financial standing for whatever steps came next. This can last up to 18 months, and can only be except the company has the funds to continue. Ironically, it was only a matter of days before the court determined that bankruptcy, and looking for a buyer for the assets was the inevitable next step.

Currently, it’s rather unclear where bankruptcy will leave those who have purchased bikes that are yet to be delivered, those needing their bikes to be serviced, or what the owners of VanMoof bikes that break down will face since the custom design means they not able to be fixed by just anyone. Clearly, a frustrating state of affairs noting that the bikes can cost as much as $4,000.

Equally, should there be any concern about using startup VanMoof’s app, Cowboy, one of VanMoof’s rivals has wasted no time in building an app to unlock VanMoof bikes since they can end up bricked in their basic state noting that the subject app will not continue to be supported.

  • What more do we know as the situation continues to develop?