Dutch e-bike brand VanMoof has filed for Chapter 11 status to protect it from creditors.
The move was approved by the district court of Amsterdam late on Wednesday, July 12, essentially entering the business into administration to allow time to reorganise and see if it is financially viable.
This is not the company filing for bankruptcy and is a scheme designed to avoid that outcome.
In a statement, a spokesperson for VanMoof said: “The court has also ordered a cooling down period of two months.
“Together with the administrators we are currently assessing the situation in order to find a solution so that VanMoof can continue its activities.”
The brand, which employs around 700 people, has also taken the decision to temporarily close its physical stores on the grounds of staff safety.
It comes after reports of customer unrest with some said to be seeking refunds for advanced payments on new bikes or to collect their bikes from the workshop.
VanMoof added in their statement: “We work hard to continue our services and will separately contact all customers as soon as possible regarding pending deliveries or repairs.”
Rumours of financial difficulties had surfaced recently when the company stopped accepting new orders two weeks ago, citing logistical issues and an influx of orders on both the SX4 and SA5 models.
In January, reports in Dutch media said the company had been in talks with investors to raise between €10 million and €40 million to help it remain liquid.
VanMoof was founded in 2009 and has raised more than $200 million in funding, thanks to investment from Hillhouse Capital, Norwest Venture Partners, Felix Capital, Balderton Capital and TriplePoint Capital.
The bulk of this was delivered in September 2021, to the tune of $128 million, to increase production capabilities, continue the development of new technology, improve bike specs and reliability, and break down more barriers to cycling.
To boost their service level, VanMoof also entered into a service partnership with KwikFit last month.