Belgium-based e-bike startup, Classified Cycling, which is known for its first-of-a-kind bikes letting cyclists change gears instantly while under full load, has closed a funding round of €22 million.
The investment was led by London-based VC Active Partners, the investors behind cycling brands including Rapha and Evans Cycles. Further, Bridford Investments Limited also participated in the round along with Olympic and World Champion riders, Tom Boonen, Anna Van der Breggen, Andre Greipel and Marcel Kittel.
For those who are not aware, founded in 2004, Active Partners is a consumer-focused investment firm and its portfolio includes Soho House, Finisterre, TALA, LEON, Northern Monk, Vinterior and Code First Girls.
The latest funds will be used to accelerate new product development, including into e-bikes, expand the Classified team and establish new commercial and strategic partnerships across the globe. Nick Evans, Managing Partner at Active Partners, Chairman of Rapha and former Executive Chairman of Evans Cycles, will join the Classified board.
Mathias Plouvier, Co-Founder and CEO at Classified said: “We have developed technology unseen in the cycling industry, taking rider experience to the next level. We use ground-breaking innovation to push the boundaries of what is possible on the bike. Particularly shifting under load and improving efficiency are features required for ultimate performance and the next generation of e-mobility. With this new investment and an appetite for disrupting the cycling industry we are well equipped to take our technology to riders around the world.”
Bike gears like a car
Founded in 2019 by Mathias Plouvier and Roëll van Druten, both with backgrounds in the automotive drivetrain industry, Classified has developed Powershift technology, a patented wireless shifting system allowing riders to change gears instantly while under full load, something not possible with current products on the market.
This first-of-its-kind technology is similar to the gear system of that found in a car. Since its launch in 2021, the Powershift hub has been praised by elite cyclists, with four cycling legends investing in Classified and acting as brand ambassadors. The product is approved by the official body of cycling, the UCI, for use in competition and the first victories in professional racing have already been achieved.
Classified is already in partnership with over 40 brands, and the Powershift hub is available through more than 25 distributors and 300 dealers in key markets. The new investment will be used to strengthen business development, with a strong focus on the US and Europe. Classified will also expand into the e-bike market, leveraging its Powershift technology to make a lighter, more durable and efficient transmission for electric bikes, making their deep tech products available to more riders globally.
Nick Evans, Managing Partner at Active Partners said: “Classified is disrupting the bike and e-bike markets with a genuinely differentiated and innovative product that radically improves the riding experience for all cyclists. Ride it once and you will feel the difference! We are excited by Mathias and Roëll’s vision to transform the future of cycling and look forward to helping the team to accelerate their product development, invest in the Classified brand and distribution, build strategic partnerships and accelerate the widespread adoption of their technology by the industry and riders around the world.”
Tom Boonen, Former Cycling World Champion and Classified investor and ambassador added: “As a professional rider, I was always in search of cutting-edge technology. When I met the Classified Team, I was so amazed by their innovative products that I decided to invest in the company, not only for their technology but also for their drive to shake up the industry, and this beyond race bikes. I am thrilled to be a part of Classified’s journey and look forward to continuing to support them.”
Classified is a team of 46 people currently with plans to grow this to 65 in the next two years. Their team is a mix of employees from across Europe, UK and India.