E-bike maker Cowboy raises new funding round, launches AdaptivePower

E-bike maker Cowboy raises new funding round, launches AdaptivePower

E-bike maker Cowboy raises new funding round, launches AdaptivePower

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Brussels-based startup Cowboy recently made headlines for its cash burn rate. But the company wants to control its narrative again with product and business news. Cowboy is launching a new feature called “AdaptivePower”, which automatically adjusts motor power based on current grade and weather conditions.


Cowboy’s e-bikes are pretty simple – there’s no gears and there’s no + and – button to adjust motor power. The company believes that riding a bike should be as easy as jumping in the saddle and putting one foot on the pedal.

But this minimalist approach has some drawbacks. While the default power mode works well in most cities, it’s not good enough in hilly cities like San Francisco.

Instead of releasing a new bike with gears or knobs, the company leverages sensors from the existing Cowboy line, such as the gyroscope and accelerometer. While these sensors were originally included for collision and theft detection, they can be used to make the bike smarter. Depending on the current torque, speed and other factors, Cowboy automatically increases the power supplied by the electric motor or reduces it.

This feature will be rolling out to the latest Cowboy models released a few years ago – the C4 and its stepper version, the C4ST. This will be an over-the-air software update. Once the update is installed, you will be able to choose between ‘adaptive’ and ‘eco’ options in the mobile app for engine power settings.

In other product news, the company is also releasing new colors for the C4ST, as you can see in the image at the bottom of this article.

New funding round at a lower valuation

In January 2022, Cowboy announced an $80 million funding round. Just over a year later, the company is raising more money. But it does not disclose the dollar amount of this new round of funding.

Of course, things have changed drastically for tech startups. Venture capitalists don’t deploy their capital as quickly, and startup founders sometimes struggle to raise their next round of funding. For a hardware company like Cowboy, supply chain issues and inflation have also impacted the company’s margins.

A few weeks ago, Cowboy co-founder and CTO Tanguy Goretti said in a spicy LinkedIn post that the company was “closing a €15 million funding round” (equivalent to €15. $8 million at the current exchange rate). From what I’ve heard, Cowboy ended up raising a little less than that, but some equity crowdfunding is going to complete that round.

He also added in his LinkedIn post that this recent funding cycle is a down cycle. The company’s total valuation is down 44% from the previous funding round. In other words, it’s been a long and windy road for Cowboy and the past few months have been tougher than expected.

But the startup’s existing investors opted to pour more money into the company, which should improve the company’s track just before Cowboy’s peak sales season (between March and October). After some logistical challenges a year or two ago, Cowboy’s margins are also back where they should be.

With AdaptivePower, Cowboy can now think of other potential vehicles as well. For example, this feature would work particularly well with cargo bikes. But there is nothing to announce on this front for now.

“2022 was our best year ever with 41 million euros in revenue and sales growing 2.7x year-on-year,” said the co-founder and CEO Adrien Roose in a press release. Cowboy has sold 50,000 since 2018. And 2022 wasn’t too bad at all as the company told me they managed to sell 20,000 bikes in a single year.

Picture credits: Cowboy


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