Iweech raises 2.8 million for its smart electric bike, Funding




Paul Molga, Marseille Correspondent

The Marseille start-up Iweech has designed an electric bicycle driven by artificial intelligence that adapts the level of power delivered. Odyssée Ventures takes a stake in the capital with a contribution of 2.1 million euros, supplemented by a loan of 700,000 euros from bpifrance.

How not to arrive at the office soaked in sweat after having covered several kilometers by bike, even electric? With its model driven by artificial intelligence, presented as a world first, Iweech holds the solution: « Our system keeps the user in his comfort zone by automatically adjusting the power delivered according to his shape, the topology of the ground and the external conditions », explains its designer. Christophe Sauvan, co-founder of this new brand assembled in Marseille.

Protected by a patent, the machine adapts to its user from the first pedal strokes, by adjusting the level of motor assistance every 100 milliseconds. Neither screen nor control button, the frame houses, under its contemporary design, a motor slaved to a learning algorithm that personalizes its operation.

Sold at 2,950 euros

An application makes it possible to modify these automatic parameters, for example for pedaling in sport mode. You can also define the level of assistance needed if you want to have enough energy for a round trip. “Our bicycle frees the mind to allow safer driving in the city,” he continues. Significant advantage: this innovation reduces energy consumption by 15 to 20%.

Almost two years of engineering and 1.5 million euros in equity and love monewere necessary for the development of the prototype, delivered in spring 2019 to 80 crowdfunders. Since then, the start-up has sold 500 units sold at 2,950 euros, a price barely higher than the average for electric bikes in Europe. At this price, Iweech hopes to attract 1,500 to 2,000 users next year and climb to 10,000 in 2025.

The Odyssée Ventures fund will finance its growth with an equity contribution of € 2.1 million for 31% of the capital, supplemented by a loan of € 700,000 by bpifrance. Announced on October 13, the operation should make it possible to structure the company, secure its working capital needs in a context of supplying strained electronic components, and finance its future R&D. The market is promising: under ecological pressure, 6 million people convert to cycling each year in Europe.

Funding

Creation date : 2017
President : Christophe Sauvan
Rising : 2.8 million euros
Effective : 13 people
Sector: mobility


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