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How Taco Carlier changed the biking industry with VanMoof

In this podcast episode, Taco Carlier shares his entrepreneurial story - how his past experiences shaped his vision for VanMoof, what were the obstacles in finding the right product-market fit for VanMoof e-bikes & how the company managed to overcome them, and why Taco believes in hybrid financing.

Listen to the episode

The podcast episode is available on all major listening platforms: Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Pocket Casts.

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Taco Carlier - Founder & CEO @VanMoof

Taco Carlier, founded bike-meets-tech company VanMoof together with his brother Ties in 2009 with the aim of getting the next billion people on bikes. Their background in industrial design engineering and lack of background in the bike industry allowed them to completely flip the concept of a city bike. 

VanMoof is now a global, leading e-bike brand creating electric city bikes full of integrated tech, designed to remove all barriers to give you the most effortless city from A to B experience. Over the years they have won numerous awards, including the Red Dot Design and Fast Company Innovation by Design awards. 

Today, VanMoof has over 130.000 riders worldwide, selling their bikes direct to riders online and through their 9 brand stores worldwide.

Key highlights:

5:59 - Taco - “You still could say that the beer token vending machine is the predecessor of VanMoof electrified s3 we have right not”

8:32 - Taco - “We learned that to grow this company big we had to create our own sales channel.”

15:10 - Taco - “We had to run a great sales campaign in order to survive and we didn’t do anything on day 1. And tomorrow we would go live to the public - so we have to do great, otherwise it’s just the end of the company.”

20:32 - Taco - “This company (i.e. VanMoof) was set up to export the Dutch way of cycling.”

34:00 - Taco - “You dont see that many hardware startups scaling really fast, because it’s more difficult. It took us 7-8 years to reinvent how bikes are made, to renew the supply chain, to get the product ready.”

37:00 - Taco - “We bootstrapped VanMoof for the first 7 years. Then we started with equity crowdfunding. We raised 10 million euro in the Netherlands with crowdfunding.”

49:37 - Taco - “One of the things that the Netherlands could improve on is the Venture Capital infrastructure right now.”

57:42 - Taco - "You have to create challenges for yourself as a company".

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Watch the full episode & highlights on YouTube

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