French marketplace Upway buys, reconditions and sells used e-bikes

Last year, a major manufacturer predicted that by 2025, half of all bicycles sold in Europe will be electric. As sales increase, so does the supply of — and demand for — used e-bikes. Upway aims to streamline that market.

The startup buys bicycles from individuals and other companies. At its workshop in Gennevilliers, they're checked and repaired by mechanics who go through a standard list of 20 checks. The bikes are home-delivered and come with a one-year guarantee, at prices that are 20% to 60% lower than if purchased new.

Upway's goals are twofold: make a wide range of e-bikes more affordable and therefore more accessible to a larger audience, and increase sustainability by lengthening each bike's lifespan. Launched in November 2021, Upway just landed USD 25 million in funding to scale up and to expand within Europe.

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Micromobility isn't genuinely sustainable unless each micro mode of transportation is used for as long as possible. As waves of consumers adopt e-bikes and e-scooters, they also discard and upgrade. For some people, subscription services such as Swapfiets and Dance provide an alternative to purchasing, maintaining and reselling. But for those who'd rather own than rent, trustworthy sources of secondhand vehicles like Upway will play a vital role in the transition to fossil-free mobility.

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