Swedish micro-mobility startup Vässla rides $11M in funding to disrupt short-distance transportation with its e-bikes
Did you know that transportation represents 28% of greenhouse gas emissions? As major cities continue to grow, traffic congestion is escalating and the planet continues to suffer. The macro trends are crystal clear and the current trajectory is not sustainable. Something has to be done–humanity needs to switch from four heavy wheels to two light wheels, especially for short-distance transportation
Enter Vässla, a Swedish micro-mobility startup that is disrupting short-distance transportation with its e-bikes with the potential to shave a big chunk off of greenhouse gas emissions by eating the sub-2 miles trips making up 40% of urban rides. Its micro-mobility bikes convert 85% of their energy into movement and weigh between 12-65 kg, making their overall energy efficiency over 70%.
Following significant growth within the Swedish micro-mobility sector, Vässla announced today that it has raised $11 million in new capital to launch its Vässla Club rental platform for individual users, delivery drivers, and businesses.
The funding was led by a Swedish investment group, Skabholmen Invest which has backed companies including nautical clothing brand Henri-Lloyd and leading digital signage company, Zeta Display. The family-owned investment group is headed up by Anders Pettersson, who has more than 30 years of experience in developing national and international companies through growth and acquisitions. Other backers included high-profile Nordic-based entrepreneurs and finance profiles. Among them are Magnus Wiberg and Patrik Hedelin who founded the growth capital firm eEquity.
Following the successful launch of its e-moped, the Vässla Moped, the company plans to utilize the funding to launch its Vässla Club rental platform; a tailor-made micro-mobility solution creating a seamless mobility experience for people, delivery drivers, and businesses. This will be provided via the Vässla Club sharing app, which has fleet management capabilities, and users can gain access to Vässla bikes. This offers the best mobility solution at low cost, added employee satisfaction, and helps companies and individuals contribute to more sustainable behavior.
Vässla was founded in Sweden, in 2017, by Rickard Bröms. Bröms was bothered by the time and effort it took him every day to get to work by public transport. As a solution, he bought an electric moped and during this process, he discovered two things. Firstly, it was surprisingly difficult to find one to purchase, and secondly, it then took him 14 minutes instead of 45 minutes to get to work with the e-moped. This knowledge was the basis for the birth of Vässla. Vässla is now number one among the e-scooter manufacturers in Sweden and to date, vehicles have been sold and are active in the Nordics, Germany, Spain, and the Netherlands. The German engineer and inventor Prof. Uwe Hager has been co-partner and CTO since 2018. To date, Vässla has raised a total of $6m, excluding this current round.
While the micro-mobility sector is rapidly expanding throughout the world – and is expected to continue growing by 17% on a global scale year-on-year until 2024 – Vässla looks to capitalize on a unique gap in the market, revolutionizing customer perceptions of e-transport by hybridizing an electric moped, e-bike and e-scooter into a stylish, eco-friendly bike for easy commuting and short trips – something which has been a long-term goal for CEO & Founder Rickard Bröms.
“I originally started Vässla with the intention of producing an e-moped, combining a reduced commute time with the environmental friendliness of an e-bike, but with comfort and convenience prioritized”, Rickard comments. “The problem with electric pedal bikes is that your morning commute becomes a workout session – you arrive at work or at your important meeting sweaty and tired. It’s really no better than using packed trains or buses.”
“With Vässla, our e-moped solved a problem for the upper range of short trips but wasn’t that optimal for the lower range. Now, with Vässla Bike, we’re fulfilling our vision to provide customers with a micro-mobility vehicle that is lighter, sleeker, and ideal for the thousands of short trips made every day. The investment, which will help us launch Vässla Club, and expand into other territories, comes at a very exciting time and we are very much looking forward to seeing how the attitudes of the general public towards micro-mobility will change over the next few years.”
Wilhelm Pettersson, CEO Skabholmen Invest, comments “We truly believe that the future of urban planning will exclude personal cars. Micro mobility will change cities and transform urban living for good. Vässla is the shining star in this sector and that’s why we chose to lead this funding round.”