Why we invested in an e-bike subscription company

Transport accounts for around one-fifth of global carbon dioxide emissions. Passenger vehicles contribute almost half of that. In the past we have equated mobility with building more roads for ever more cars which resulted in a range of unintended adverse effects, namely pollution and congestion.

The International Energy Agency expects global transport (measured in passenger-kilometers) to double and car ownership rates to increase by 60% by 2070 in their Sustainable Development Scenario. Combined, these factors would result in a large increase in transport emissions.

Technological innovations can help offset this rise in demand. As the world shifts towards lower-carbon electricity sources, the rise of electric vehicles offers a viable option to reduce emissions from passenger vehicles. E-bikes are more climate-friendly than other modes of transportation, including gasoline- or diesel-powered cars and buses, and even electric passenger vehicles. But E-bikes tend to be notoriously expensive to purchase and a hassle to repair.

That is not to suggest everyone should dance their way to work, however healthy and happy it might make us.

Dance is an e-bike subscription service founded 2020 in Berlin with the purpose of positively impacting health, sustainability and livable cities. They offer a design- and tech-forward electric bike, packaged as a hassle-free subscription. The invite-only program includes delivery, bike repairs, theft protection, an app to guide your riding experience, GPS location tracking and unlocking capabilities. They want to catalyze a movement of riders.

We at Planet A are convinced that ….

The mobility market is seeing a huge shift towards bikes, strongly fueled by the paradigm shift of vehicles going electric. E-bikes could become one of the primary drivers of cleaner air and reduced global greenhouse emissions across much of the urbanized world. 5% of cars off the world’s roads by 2030 would cut 3 gigatons of CO2 emissions (Source: The exponential roadmap). Our detailed in-house Life Cycle Assessment show that Dance needs to displace only a much smaller share of car usage than reported in scientific literature in order to result in an overall net reduction in GHG emissions and resource demand.

E-bikes are the fastest and most efficient means of urban transport on routes up to 10 kilometres (6.2 miles). On-demand shared micro mobility providers oftentimes have availability issues. As city commuters and consumers alike look to greener and more reliable transport alternatives for all aspects of their daily lives, Dance offers an exciting new connected model which innovates from traditional bike design.

Most commuters are put off cycling the average 10 kilometers commute but e-bikes make this distance easier to cover. Dance sits in that half-way house between owning an expensive bike and having to hunt down a rentable e-bike or electric scooter close to your location.

Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought individual, socially distanced transport into sharp relief. German sales of e-bikes have boomed, with 2020 sales increasing by 43 % over 2019. This has happened at the same time as EU governments have put in more than 2300 km of bike lanes.

Another asset of Dance is its strong team with a fantastic track record: Dance was founded by SoundCloud founders Eric Quidenus-Wahlforss and Alexander Ljung, along with the co-founder of web design startup Jimdo, Christian Springub.

We are proud to co-invest with HV Holtzbrinck Ventures, major VCs and angels like Berlin-based VC BlueYard Capital, Ilkka Paananen (founder and CEO of Supercell), Jeannette zu Fürstenberg (La Famiglia), Kevin P. Ryan (founder and CEO of AlleyCorp), Neil Parikh (founder and CSO of Casper), Bjarke Ingels (founder and CEO of Big Architects), Jeffrey Katzenberg and Sujay Jaswa, and several others.

Author: Lena Thiede und Fridtjof Detzner, Co-Founders and Partners at Planet A Ventures

ABOUT PLANET A VENTURES

Founded in 2020, Planet A is an impact investment fund targeting for-profit start-ups that have a measurable positive impact on our planet while building scalable businesses. Planet A partners with European early-stage companies having the potential to scale globally. The start-ups need to contribute to significant positive change in at least one of four key areas: climate mitigation, waste reduction, resource savings and/or biodiversity protection. For its portfolio companies Planet A offers support with:

  1. Impact measurement: scientific impact assessment, forecasting and visualization,
  2. The Planet A Network: a diverse network of experienced German and European entrepreneurs,
  3. Long-term funding: early-stage investments with interest in follow-on rounds.

Planet A’s vision is to make impact investment the new normal.

Contact: hello@planet-a.com

Planet-A.com

We are an impact investment fund targeting start-ups that have a measurable positive impact on our planet while building scalable businesses.