Boutique e-motorcycle startup Cake files for bankruptcy

Electric motorcycle startup Cake filed for bankruptcy February 1, CEO Stefan Ytterborn has confirmed to TechCrunch.

The Swedish company was in the middle of a funding round, just prior to the filing, but apparently the withdrawal of an investor was what tipped the company over the edge, according to Swedish media reports. Ytterborn declined to comment on what will happen next. While it’s unclear if Cake filed for bankruptcy protection or insolvency, Ytterborn did tell media outlet Dagens Industri that he had nothing else “in mind but to find a solution in one format or another.” His comments suggest the company filed for protection.

Best known for making high-design bikes, Cake raised a $14 million Series A in 2019. It followed that with a $60 million Series B round in 2021 led by Swedish pension fund AMF. The capital was meant to fund manufacturing facilities in Europe, North America and Asia and to scale up its retail capabilities, the company said at the time.

Cake has struggled as of late, though. In November, it issued a recall for one of its mopeds because of a risk that the steering column could break. Just a few weeks later, it recalled its flagship Kalk e-motorcycle after a unit caught fire in a South Korean dealership. Ytterborn confirmed last week to Swedish outlet Breakit that the company wasn’t going to be able to make salary payments to employees.

Cake’s struggles are just the latest in the wider world of e-mobility. Superpedestrian went out of business and Bird filed for bankruptcy. Micromobility.com — formerly known as Helbiz — was delisted from the Nasdaq stock exchange. Tier and Dott decided to merge in order to find a better path forward.

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Perhaps most relevant to Cake, though, is the case of Vanmoof. The high-end e-bike maker out of the Netherlands filed for bankruptcy protection last year. But it was able to find a buyer in electric scooter company Lavoie that has since gotten the brand back up and running.

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