Onomotion raises €21m to expand e-cargo bike urban logistics business

Based in Berlin Onomotion invented a scalable way to do urban logistics powered by micromobility — cargo e-bikes with built-in element coverage and attachable containers. Today, Onomotion has several hundred vehicles on the roads in Germany with logistics partners such as UPS, DPD and Hermes. In the next few years, the company wants to expand to several thousand vehicles in Europe and North America.

Onomotion just closed its Series A with €6 million ($6.3 million) in equity and €15 million ($15.7 million) in debt. The capital comes from Proeza Ventures, Zu na mi GmbH, the European Innovation Council and existing investors; and the debt, in the form of a bond, comes from GLS Bank. Onomotion will repay GLS after seven years, including an annual interest rate of 5.5%, according to Beres Seelbach, co-founder and CEO. The CEO said Onomotion will use the debt to buy more vehicles so it can scale operations.

The funding comes as more cities and logistics companies turn to finding both more sustainable and more efficient solutions for delivering packages in dense urban centers.

“We want to go to international markets in Europe like Paris or Brussels and then North America, the United States and Canada,” Seelbach told TechCrunch. “We want to improve the car, make it even better by adding new features and building new versions, maybe with different modules. And of course, we would also like to invest in the marketing and sales team.”

Onomotion’s vehicle-as-a-service business model involves customers paying a monthly fee for vehicles, containers, chargers, maintenance and service. The startup also offers a fleet management program and provides over-the-air software updates so vehicle mechanics can be constantly improved, Seelbach said.

Because the company is largely vertically integrated — Onomotion designs its own vehicles and assembles them in Berlin — Onomotion can customize containers for different customer needs. For example, one IT client uses a container that is built with specific compartments to securely store laptops and other gadgets, Seelbach said.

Most of Onomotion’s customers have their own suppliers, but the startup is slowly growing another business unit that offers a logistics operations team.

“15% to 20% of our turnover this year will come from logistics as a service,” Seelbach said. “Many of our customers have said that it is difficult to find a driver. It’s a big headache to organize the logistics of the last mile… So for some of our customers, we do everything from providing the vehicles to the drivers.”

Seelbach said Onomotion aims to expand this service to cities in Germany beyond Berlin and Hamburg, where it is currently available.

“We have a set of new customers for this business unit,” he said.

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