Belgian folding bike and e-bike brand Ahooga has announced the close of a successful €4 million funding round, which will help bring manufacturing to Europe.
Ahooga, founded in 2015 in Brussels, said it plans to use the funds to support its product development and to bring its manufacturing to the Belgian capital.
The brand specialises in folding bikes and also offers a range of folding and non-folding e-bikes.
“At Ahooga we are proud to be ‘makers’: designing, engineering and building distinguishing products for urban mobility,” said CEO Gokce Dogru.
“Sales and after-sales service is a ‘métier’ of its own for which we partner with reliable and premium partners.”
Ahooga plans to develop its next product platform – compact e-bikes – which the engineering team have already spent two years developing.
The new line will be manufactured in Belgium, with production due to start in Q4 of this year.
Dogru said: “We want to right-size bikes for our cities. Compact bikes, compared to 28-inch vehicles, are easier to store safely in an apartment or office. As such they are more suitable in ever-growing, yet denser, cities. They are also more compatible with a car or public transportation.
“Most importantly”, she added, “a more compact (e-)bike can simply be a better riding city bike. It offers more control and is more dynamic and safe”.
Ahooga said plans to manufacture in-house were sparked by the coronavirus pandemic: “We have felt that bringing innovation to the market, simply goes faster and at better quality if we control a bigger part of the value chain ourselves”, said Dogru.
Backers in the latest funding round included Finance&invest.Brussels and existing shareholders like VC fund Freshmen.
Founder of Freshmen, Hendrik Winkelmans said: “We believe the product in the pipeline can be a game-changer for how people move around in the city. We are also very happy with the direction the company is taking to focus on making differentiating products and partnering for sales with true specialists such as independent bike stores.”
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Senior financial analyst Vincent Monnart with Finance&invest.Brussels, a regional fund for Brussels-based companies, said: “It’s great for Finance&invest.brussels to support Ahooga in re-shoring its manufacturing to the Brussels region for such an innovative product line. For us it is a way of delivering on our mission of strengthening the region’s economic activity with strong and innovative businesses whilst supporting the shift towards sustainable mobility.”