Published on February 4th, 2021 |
by Derek Markham
February 4th, 2021 by Derek Markham
In what looks to be a sign of the times for the micromobility movement, leading US e-bike brand Rad Power Bikes just announced that it has received a $150 million investment from “a prestigious group of investors,” which could help the company shift into a higher gear in its bid to expand its market and strengthen its sales with quicker ship times.
We’ve covered many of the e-bike offerings from Rad Power Bikes previously here on CleanTechnica, and have found that its bikes are both solid performers and modestly priced, which means that prospective e-bike buyers can not only afford to get in the saddle of one, but are very likely to be satisfied with their purchase. [Disclosure: I purchased a RadWagon 4 cargo bike at full price last year, and continue to be impressed by its design and build quality, but that purchase has no impact on our coverage of the company. A long-term review of this e-bike is in the works.]
According to Rad Power Bikes, the investment group includes “Counterpoint Global (Morgan Stanley), Fidelity Management & Research Company, The Rise Fund, the global impact investing platform managed by TPG, and funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc..”
“Ebikes will play an important role in the future of mobility, extending far beyond the traditional bike market, said Sam Chainani, Managing Director, Morgan Stanley Counterpoint Global. Our partnership with Rad Power Bikes is exciting as this innovative company is rapidly changing the way the world moves. Mike Radenbaugh and his team have already proven the economics of convenient, energy-efficient mobility solutions.”
As I’m on Rad Power’s customer email list, this morning I received an email stating that Rad Power will put this investment to work in a number of ways, including the following:
- To cut down on delivery times and maximize your time in the saddle, we will have more bikes, accessories, and parts in stock and ready to ship fast.
- We will continue the rapid growth of our US and Europe-based expert customer service teams.
- We will expand our Rad Retail and Rad Mobile Service locations in North America.
- We will continue to redefine mobility and create new categories of products and services. This means bikes and accessories that will push the boundaries of what people can expect from an ebike company, as well as groundbreaking digital tools to enhance your buying and ownership experience.
With the global rise in demand for e-bikes and other low-carbon transport solutions, one of the sticky pinch points for companies like Rad Power is their supply chains, which, along with being disrupted due to Covid-related lockdowns, is also experiencing high volumes of orders. Money spent in bulking up these supply chains will hopefully help to clear up backlogs and make more e-bikes available as “ready to ship” models instead of pre-orders with no hard delivery date.
“The phenomenal sustained demand for ebikes by Rad Power Bikes has resulted in periods of longer response times from our customer service team and extended periods of being out of stock on some bike models. This is unacceptable to us, as customer service is core to who we are. We have more than doubled our teams in North America, Europe, and Asia every year, but in order to consistently deliver the jaw-dropping customer experience that this global community deserves, we will grow even faster.”
On that note, I’ve experienced the effects of this problem with my own purchase, as while I received my RadWagon right on time, some of the accessories I ordered for it were late in coming (a cargo basket, running boards, handlebars for a passenger riding on the rear deck, and a cushion for the passenger (still waiting on this one)). Maddeningly, one of the crucial replacement parts for bikes, the inner tubes for the custom 22″ x 3″ tires, wasn’t available to order until just recently (thank goodness for tire slime, as you can’t just run out and pick up an odd-sized tube like this at the local bike shop), but it appears those tubes are back in stock now.
With any luck, cash influxes like this can help e-bike and other micromobility companies to successfully scale up their businesses without having to compromise on ship times, build quality, service speed, or the availability of spare parts.
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