Sequoia-backed e-bike marketplace Upway nets $30M
Upway closed a $30 million Series B to buy, refurbish, and resell used electric bicycles.
Why it matters: The website offers a safer alternative to Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace.
Driving the news: Korelya Capital led the all-equity round, which closed last month.
- Existing investors Sequoia Capital, Exor Ventures, and European climate fund Transition joined.
How it works: Instead of simply connecting other bike sellers with shoppers, Upway is buying and fixing secondhand bikes itself.
- "There's simply no meaningful capacity from third parties to refurbish e-bikes at scale," CEO Toussaint Wattinne tells Axios.
Zoom in: The French company opened its first U.S. warehouse in — where else — Brooklyn.
- "The U.S. has been our most successful country launch," Wattinne says.
- The company expects to open a warehouse next year in Los Angeles. It's also planning to expand warehouse capacity in Europe.
What they're saying: "There's a big gap and big lack of trust in buying a used e-bike as-is," Wattinne says. "It's a complex product: there's a motor and battery you simply cannot assess in a reliable way. And should something go wrong, there's nobody to turn to."