After 5 years of work and despite the start of deliveries, the ingenious Finnish engine-transmission system for Revonte electric bicycles entered bankruptcy at the end of September.
It’s not a crisis yet, but some people break spokes on electric bikes. The biggest news was of course the bankruptcy and takeover of VanMoof, while Flyer saw red by cutting its workforce as well as its sales. Not forgetting the Austrian company GLEAM Technologies GmbH, which fell last August. This time, it’s a Finnish startup that’s been hit hard.
A promising engine
Revonte started in 2018 by wanting to provide original electrical assistance, integrating in one block a motor and a continuous transmission with a planetary system where all the elements are mobile as well as a second motor. Everything could push up to 200 Nm of torque and 2 kW, coupled with a dedicated battery. Another advantage was that the offer allowed electric bike manufacturers freedom of configuration.
“We saw how brands began to lose their identity to the benefit of their suppliers” co-founder Antero Jalkanen told Tech.eu, “customers are increasingly coming to dealers asking for an e-bike with a specific engine, regardless of the brand”. We obviously think of the aura of Bosch blocks, just like Shimano in city bikes.
A quick investment… then nothing
This Revonte One system, connected with an application that configures the modes, was attractive on paper. Enough in any case to unlock an investment of $2.4 million in 2019 via numerous funds.
But since then, the Scandinavian company has been unable to secure new cash flow in order to move to the next stage. Revonte hoped to deliver its first engines as early as 2020, but judged that “the power unit required a new version to reduce weight and production costs”.
Its intellectual property for sale
Despite an attempt at crowdfunding in 2022, the company never took this step, with only a few units of the One sold in 2023. It was able to unveil its partnership with the small player Pässilä in VTTAE, or the curious amphibian cargo ship. In her LinkedIn post, she also points the finger at the electric bike market, having lost its pace after the explosion in sales during the Covid-19 period.
In France, this is not really the case, with sales records broken every year.
Still visible at Eurobike in June, the Revonte brand entered bankruptcy at the end of September and is now selling its intellectual property to possible buyers.