Upway is building an online marketplace to buy and sell used e-bikes – TechCrunch

Meet Upway, a French startup building a marketplace for used e-bikes. The startup has just raised a funding round of 5.7 million dollars (5 million euros) from Sequoia Capital and Global Founders Capital.

If you’re familiar with the world of online marketplaces for cars, Upway will also sound familiar. The company purchases e-bikes from both customers and businesses. They check them and fix them in case something is broken. After that, Upway lists and sells the e-bikes on its website.

At the moment, the startup has a warehouse in Gennevilliers near Paris. A team of five repairmen check each bike that arrives with a list of 20 different tests. Upway can then ship the bike to customers in cardboard packaging – the handlebars and pedals are detached from the frame.

On average, the bikes are 20-50% cheaper than their original price. You can find products from many well-known brands in the e-bike industry, such as Mustache, VanMoof, Cowboy, and Canyon. All e-bikes come with a one year warranty.

Why electric bikes and not normal bikes? Co-founder and CEO Toussaint Wattinne told me that e-bikes are the fastest growing segment of the bike industry. Last year, 500,000 electric bikes were sold in France, an increase of 30% compared to the previous year. And yet, due to a supply chain issue, it’s not always easy to find and buy a new e-bike right now.

Also, there is more friction when you buy a used e-bike because you don’t know if the motor is still running well and you’re not sure if you’ll have to replace the battery when you get it. And, of course, e-bikes are expensive commodities, so you want a hassle-free experience.

Upway buys the bikes direct, which means it technically owns the e-bike stock. It will be a capital-intensive startup. But many companies have thrived in the used car market. Upway could follow the same path and grow alongside the e-bike industry.

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