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Belgian start-up Classified Cycling steps up a gear with a €22 million capital increase

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Deeptech startup Classified cycling raised €22 million in a new round of funding, gaining the backing of high-profile athletes in the sport. The Belgian startup is using technology to shake up the cycling industry, improve the riding experience and now plans to expand into the growing e-bike market.

The bicycle industry is leveling up. With more and more people cycling as a healthier and more environmentally friendly mode of transport, it is now starting to benefit from technological improvements.

Deep tech startup Classified Cycling is one of the leaders in this space, bringing technology to the cycling industry. The startup uses technology to improve the riding experience and now wants to respond to the growing demand for e-bikes. It has just raised new funds to ramp up its plans.

The details:

  • €22 million was raised in a round led by Active Partners that also included Bridford Investments Limited
  • Olympic and world champions, Tom Boonen, Anna Van der Breggen, Andre Greipel and Marcel Kittel support the company
  • Nick Evans, Managing Partner at Active Partners, Chairman of Rapha and former Executive Chairman of Evans Cycles, will join the Classified board.

Tom Boonen, former cycling world champion and classified investor and ambassador added: “As a professional rider I was always looking for advanced technology. When I met the Classified Team, I was so amazed by their innovative products that I decided to invest in the company, not only because of their technology, but also because of their drive to shake up the industry beyond racing bikes. I am thrilled to be a part of Classified’s journey and look forward to continuing to support them.”

Disruption of the bicycle industry

Founded in 2019 by Mathias Plouvier and Roëll van Druten, Classified aims to create drivetrain products that transform the riding experience and performance of all cyclists.

The startup has developed Powershift technology, a patented wireless shifting system that aims to provide the ultimate shifting experience by enabling riders to make instant shifts while under full load – something not possible with current products on the market. market. This technology improves the efficiency and simplicity of a bicycle’s transmission, making it more like a gear system in a car.

The first application of Classified’s technology, the Powershift hub, is a rear-wheel integrated transmission system that replaces the front derailleur (the part that moves the chain from one chainring to the next when shifting gears).

The bicycle industry has experienced rapid growth in recent years, but the real technological progress and development has been slow compared to the automotive industry. Drivetrain and transmission systems, especially the parts of a bicycle that transfer power to the wheels, are an area ready for new technology, and Classified aims to pave the way forward.

Mathias Plouvier, co-founder and CEO of Classified said: “We’ve developed technology unseen in the cycling industry, taking the riding experience to the next level. We use groundbreaking innovations to push the boundaries of what’s possible on a bike. In particular, shifting under load and improving efficiency are features required for ultimate performance and the next generation of e-mobility. With this new investment and the hunger to disrupt the cycling industry, we are well equipped to bring our technology to riders around the world.

Since its launch in 2021, the Powershift hub has gained the endorsement of elite cyclists, with four cycling legends investing in Classified and acting as brand ambassadors. The product has been approved by the official cycling organization, the UCI, for use in competitions and the first victories in professional cycling have already been achieved. Classified’s first product, the Powershift hub, was recognized in 2021 with the Eurobike Gold Award and the Design & Innovation Award, both benchmark achievements awarded to the cycling industry’s most progressive and best performing products.

Born in Antwerp, Classified already works with more than 40 brands and the Powershift hub is available through more than 25 distributors and 300 dealers in key markets. The new investment will be used to strengthen business development, with a strong focus on the US and Europe. Classified will also expand into the e-bike market, leveraging its Powershift technology to make a lighter, more durable and more efficient transmission for electric bikes, making their deep-tech products available to more riders worldwide.

Nick Evans, Managing Partner at Active Partners said: “Classified is disrupting the bicycle and e-bike market with a truly differentiated and innovative product that radically improves the riding experience for all cyclists. Drive it once and you will feel the difference! We are excited about Mathias and Roëll’s vision to transform the future of cycling and look forward to helping the team accelerate their product development, invest in the Classified brand and distribution, build strategic partnerships and drive widespread adoption of accelerate their technology throughout the industry. riders all over the world.”

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