Irish e-bike company seeking €400,000 investment
Company targeting €14m ‘optimistic’ sales goal next year
An Irish-founded electric bicycle company is seeking a €400,000 investment in a bid to reach a sales goal of up to €14 million next year.
Modmo, founded by Jack O’Sullivan when he was 17, has developed an electric bike with a 210km range with five levels of motor assistance.
He said the company needs the funds to manufacture the bikes, having completed a three-year development process.
Mr O’Sullivan, now 23, had started to develop the bike in Ireland, but later travelled to Vietnam to find a cheaper development alternative. The newest prototypes of the bike will be completed this month, with the product to be launched in February.
The company is outsourcing an automated production line in Vietnam for which it requires the funding.
“The day after Christmas I’ll be flying back to pick up the new prototypes and we hope to launch it in February,” Mr O’Sullivan said.
He said the company has an “optimistic target” of 5,000 bike sales next year at a cost of €2,800 each. It launched a fundraising campaign on Indiegogo to establish where sales might come from. The company found the US, Netherlands and Germany to be its biggest potential markets.
Modmo will sell the bicycles online and buyers will then have the chance to earn commission by facilitating test rides for other prospective buyers. So far, the company has signed up angel investors and got support from a Vietnamese start-up accelerator. It has also been in discussions with Enterprise Ireland for investment. Mr O’Sullivan, his father and his brother still control about 90 per cent of the company.
In addition to its consumer bikes, Modmo is seeking out a partnership with An Post to develop a better solution for cargo bikes. Mr O’Sullivan said that DHL’s tests of cargo bikes found they could deliver twice as many parcels but only carry half as much cargo. He has devised a solution to place docking stations in convenient locations so that the cargo bikes can refill regularly.
Mr O’Sullivan’s interest in this area comes from being a cyclist. He previously started a company called Vital Fixies selling fixed-gear bikes. That company, at its height, sold 16 bikes in one day, leading Mr O’Sullivan to the target of 5,000 bike sales for his electric product in the first year.