Super73, the Southern California e-bike firm fashionable amongst YouTubers and movie celebrities, introduced that it has raised a formidable $20 million from traders, making it the newest firm to profit from rising enterprise capital curiosity after a file yr of e-bike gross sales.
The funding spherical is Super73’s first and was led by fairness agency Volition Capital, which was an early investor in Chewy earlier than its acquisition by PetSmart for $3.35 billion in 2017. With these new funds, the direct-to-consumer e-bike firm plans on rising its 75-person workers, bettering its customer support operation, and increasing its product lineup, mentioned Super73 co-founder and CEO LeGrand Crewse.
“It was by no means about bikes, it was by no means about transportation, it was actually about constructing a way of life, a real way of life model,” Crewse mentioned, “and one which stood for the values that we had.”
Founders like to extoll the virtues of their “group” of loyal prospects, and Crewse is not any totally different. “We’ve this unimaginable group of people who [see] Tremendous 73 and our merchandise [as] a lot far more than, you’re getting from level A to level B, or we’re getting out of a automotive or the rest,” he mentioned. “It’s about getting along with different folks and forming these new experiences.”
With their lengthy banana seats, parallelogram-shaped frames, upright handlebars, fats tires, and outsized headlights, Super73 helped popularize a mode of e-bike that was influenced by the mini-bikes or mopeds of the Nineteen Sixties, ‘70s, and ‘80s. The corporate’s relaxed, SoCal vibe has helped it earn a following from a rising cadre of A-list celebrities, musicians, and influencers, whose social media posts that includes the bikes are sometimes nearly as good, if not higher, than any paid commercial. (Please watch Jack Black’s Thor-inspired adventures on his Super73 bike that’s embedded under. It’s so good.)
Crewse mentioned he’s happy with the truth that Super73 has by no means needed to pay for any of those celeb endorsements. The corporate has at all times aspired to be extra than simply an e-bike enterprise, he mentioned. “It was by no means about bikes, it was by no means about transportation,” he mentioned. “It was actually about constructing a real way of life model, one which stood for the values that we had.”
However since Super73 emerged a number of years in the past, mini-bikes have exploded in popularity, with retro-influenced fashions discovered throughout Instagram and different social media platforms. However because the market turns into flooded with similar-looking designs, Super73 is attempting to remain targeted on ensuring its e-bikes are at all times one of the best, Crewse mentioned.
“There’s going to be a race to the underside, there’s going to be a commoditization that’s going to occur,” he mentioned. “I believe that there’s massive gamers on the market which can be racing in the direction of that. However we’re taking a really totally different path.”
That totally different path seems to result in quicker, extra highly effective e-bikes just like the R-series fashions unveiled in early 2020. Extra impressed by grime bikes than Super73’s earlier fashions, the R-series bikes have entrance and rear suspension, peak 2,000-watt motors, 960Wh batteries, and a high velocity of 28 mph. They’re additionally not low cost, retailing for round $3,250, and never light-weight, tipping the scales at 80lbs.
Bikes, each conventional and electrified, are experiencing a growth in reputation over the past 12 months, thanks partly to the pandemic lockdowns. A staggering $4.1 billion price of bikes (excluding e-bikes) have been offered within the US between January and October 2020, a 62-percent enhance over the identical interval in 2019, in response to the NPD Group, which tracks retail traits. E-bikes confirmed much more momentum, with $490.8 million in US gross sales for a 144-percent enhance yr over yr.
Consulting agency Deloitte estimated in a report last year that the variety of e-bikes in circulation worldwide ought to attain 300 million by 2023 — a 50-percent enhance over 2019’s 200 million.
Buyers see a transparent alternative in persevering with to gasoline that development. Rad Energy Bikes closed on a $25 million deal final February, after which secured a whopping $150 million funding only a week in the past. In the meantime, Dutch e-bike brand VanMoof landed $40 million in September. In whole, European VCs poured $165 million into e-bikes in 2019 and 2020, greater than the earlier 4 years mixed, in response to knowledge from PitchBook.
With its funding cash within the financial institution, Super73 plans on rolling out new merchandise within the close to future, and whereas Crewse wouldn’t say particularly what the corporate is engaged on, he promised it will broaden past the corporate’s present lineup of mini-bike and scrambler-inspired fashions.
“If it’s on two wheels, you already know we’re actually it,” he mentioned.