Belgian e-bike brand Cowboy has created an app to keep VanMoof owners on the road, as the Dutch company explores restructuring due to financial difficulties.
The Bikey app, which launched overnight, enables VanMoof riders to generate and save their own unique digital key so they can continue using their e-bike.
This has been done in the event that VanMoof ceases to trade and its servers go offline as the bikes rely heavily on a connected smartphone app made by the brand.
A spokesperson for Cowboy said: “We wanted to get this shipped ASAP because it will work while the VanMoof servers are live and we just don’t know how long that will be, so Vanmoof riders should grab their key immediately.
“This is about keeping bikes on the road, which is our number one mission as a company, regardless of whether the bikes are made by a competitor or not. People rely on their e-bikes for their livelihoods.”
The free app currently only works with S3 and X3 e-bike models with support for S5 and A5 e-bikes on the way. It’s in beta stage and is iOS only for now, with an Android beta releasing soon.
Cowboy has described the app as “privacy-first”, with nothing shared outside of the app. Users only need to connect to their VanMoof account once to generate your local key. Email and password details aren’t shared.
As reported yesterday, the trigger for the app’s launch is VanMoof entering Chapter 11 status to protect it from creditors while administrators explore options to keep the business afloat.
This is not the company filing for bankruptcy and is a scheme designed to avoid that outcome.
The brand, which employs around 700 people, has also taken the decision to temporarily close its physical stores on the grounds of staff safety.