Berlin-based e-cargo bike sharing provider Avocargo raises seven-figure amount in pre-seed round
Berlin, 22nd of November 2021. Germany's first provider for stationless (free-floating) sharing of e-cargo bikes, Avocargo, has raised a low seven-figure amount from various backers in its first round of financing. The round is led by EIT InnoEnergy, a leading European investor in climate technologies. Other investors include EXXETA AG, WestTech Ventures, and Starthub Ventures. Business angels such as Miles founders Alexander Eitner and Florian Haus as well as Jerrit Siegmund, David Shakory, Martin Johann Fröhlich, Bartosz Reinhold, Kenan Tur and Tobias Wittich have also participated. Avocargo intends to use the capital, in particular, to prepare for further expansion in Germany and abroad and to expand the team and existing processes, especially the in-house tech development and further improvements of the hardware.
"With Avocargo, we want to close a crucial gap in the mobility market," says Matti Schurr, CEO of Avocargo. "Current forms of mobility are largely focused exclusively on getting individuals from point A to point B. We, on the other hand, want to create an offering that goes beyond that to include the shopping, your child, or dog, and we want to do it in a sustainable way. The funding will help us expand our range of e-cargo bikes and is a strong confirmation of our potential in the European mobility market."
Christian Müller, CEO of EIT InnoEnergy in Germany, comments "Electric cargo bikes have exactly the features that the combustion engine car lacks to play a leading role in our urban transport mix in the future. They are emission-free, save space, are cost-effective, and are predestined for a wide range of applications. It was about time that they were now also made available in a free-floating model for all those who do not want to purchase their own cargo bike. Avocargo has clearly recognized this and developed an enormously promising business model for B2C and B2B sectors."
After being founded in March 2021, Avocargo initially launched in June with ten bikes and a small business area in Berlin Prenzlauer Berg. Already in September, the Berlin-based company's offering was expanded to 110 bikes and the business area grew to Friedrichshain and Mitte. Expansion into other German cities as well as other EU countries is planned for 2022.
Avocargo's goal is to provide the most attractive alternative to private cars. Thanks to the free-floating model without fixed stations, the e-cargo bikes can be used particularly flexibly and can also be returned in the immediate vicinity of the destination or home at the end of the rental period. At the end of the rental, users must lock the bike to a fixed object, such as a bike rack, and take a photo via the app. This effectively avoids cluttering public areas such as bike paths or sidewalks and prevents vandalism.
For Avocargo, the focus is on integrating as many concrete use cases as possible for users. In addition to the classic direct customer business, Avocargo therefore also has several retail partnerships, including Bio Company and OBI. The retail partners cover a part of the Avocargo rental costs for their customers when they shop there. In addition, Avocargo is also expanding further into the B2B sector: the startup enables other companies, e.g. e-grocery delivery services, to use the e-cargo bikes commercially. In the future, subscription rentals for both private and commercial customers are planned. These will enable additional use cases to be covered and offer particularly high flexibility in combination with the existing sharing offers.
Avocargo (www.avocargo.one) is Germany's first provider of free-floating sharing of e-cargo bikes. Via the Avocargo app, end customers, as well as commercial users, can flexibly rent electric cargo bikes in the Berlin business area. This allows them to sustainably and conveniently transport various things or even people from A to B. Through partnerships with various retailers such as BIO COMPANY or OBI, Avocargo also facilitates various transport use cases for its users. The fleet of cargo bikes is constantly expanding and currently includes over 100 vehicles. Avocargo was founded in March 2021 by Matti Schurr (CEO), Marc Shakory-Tabrizi (COO) and Loic Pinel (CTO) in Berlin.