Some companies grow faster than others. While the world of startups is evolving in France, some of them manage to stand out by offering a unique offer. This is particularly the case with Upway.
This very young company, founded in 2021 almost does not base all its work on three main ideas: developing ecologically responsible solutions, which have a direct impact on the lives of users and makes it possible to maintain “knowledge of industry ”as it defined Toussaint Wattinne, one of the company’s two co-founders, former regional director of Uber.
With Stephane Ficaja, who has worked with him in the past, this cycling enthusiast has the idea to launch a company capable of offering high-quality products, without asking for fun values. ” We have noticed that in the electric bicycle market, we have very expensive new products, and on the other hand is a second-hand market with products in very poor condition ”.
Upway: offers second-hand, high-quality solutions
From this inventory will be born the Upway. Today, the company is present through its online stores in France and Belgium. It offers a wide selection of refurbished electric bikes, with unbeatable prices: 20 to 60% cheaper than before.
If the second-hand market often has a bad image, Upway aims to offer high-quality bikes: “There really aren’t any standards for reconditioning electric bikes right now, so we’ve set ourselves 20 checkpoints, to be able to overhaul the bike in the most demanding way possible.”
The idea is to suggest a solution that makes it possible “to separate car and carbon solutions, but also to make the economy circular and finally and above all to preserve French know-how, instead of importing finished products” assured Toussaint Wattinne .
In an emerging second-hand market, and platforms like Vinted or Back Market, which are now worth millions, Toussaint Wattinne wants to enter a market that is relatively empty, the electric bicycle.
Well -known names among investors
Instead of outsourcing the repair and reconditioning of bikes to third parties, Upway only works indoors, with professional mechanics. A qualitative approach that requires funds, and therefore justifies a large fundraiser: at the end of May, Upway completed a round of funding of 25 million in Series A, after seeding 5 million in November 2021.
Upway hopes to form, expand its venues, its teams, but also extend its website to other countries such as the Netherlands and Germany, which will soon launch. Full of ambition, the company is trying to convince a trained public to buy new bicycles.
In raising this fund, Upway succeeded in convincing well -known investors from the start -up world such as Sequoia and Global Founders Capital, but also the Origins fund, created by Blaise Matuidi.
The professional footballer and former PSG midfielder set up this fund a few months ago to help professional athletes invest in projects that have a direct impact on people. By showing Upway to the former football player, Toussaint Wattinne said he “checked all the boxes” explaining the presence of Origins within the fundraiser.
Grow, export and recruit
Millions of euros that will allow very young startups to build a little more. In the words of its co-founder, this $ 25 million will make it possible to open new factories to further expand the fleet of electric bicycles available on site.
This fundraiser should also make it possible to thrive around the world, a launch of the company in the United States is also planned in the coming months.
Finally, this money will allow Upway to recruit. Fifteen positions are currently being filled in the company.“The same mechanics to work directly on the bike, developers for the website, but also operations managers based abroad”.