Transport accounts for around one-fifth of global carbon dioxide emissions. Passenger vehicles contribute almost half of that. In the past we have equated mobility with building more roads for ever more cars which resulted in a range of unintended adverse effects, namely pollution and congestion.
The International Energy Agency expects global transport (measured in passenger-kilometers) to double and car ownership rates to increase by 60% by 2070 in their Sustainable Development Scenario. Combined, these factors would result in a large increase in transport emissions.
Technological innovations can help offset this rise in demand. As the world shifts towards lower-carbon electricity sources, the rise of electric vehicles offers a viable option to reduce emissions from passenger vehicles. E-bikes are more climate-friendly than other modes of transportation, including gasoline- or diesel-powered cars and buses, and even electric passenger vehicles. But E-bikes tend to be notoriously expensive to purchase and a hassle to repair.
Dance is an e-bike subscription service founded with the purpose of positively impacting health, sustainability and livable cities. They offer a design- and tech-forward electric bike, packaged as a hassle-free subscription. The invite-only program includes delivery, bike repairs, theft protection, an app to guide your riding experience, GPS location tracking and unlocking capabilities. They want to catalyze a movement of riders.
Why we invested
E-bikes could become one of the primary drivers of cleaner air and reduced global greenhouse emissions across much of the urbanized world.
The mobility market is seeing a huge shift towards bikes, strongly fueled by the paradigm shift of vehicles going electric.
Most commuters are put off cycling the average 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) commute but e-bikes make this distance easier to cover. Dance sits in that half-way house between owning an expensive bike and having to hunt down a rentable e-bike or electric scooter close to your location.
E-bikes are the fastest and most efficient means of urban transport on routes up to 10 kilometres (6.2 miles). On-demand shared micro mobility providers oftentimes have availability issues. As city commuters and consumers alike look to greener and more reliable transport alternatives for all aspects of their daily lives, Dance offers an exciting new connected model which innovates from traditional bike design.
Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought individual, socially distanced transport into sharp relief. German sales of e-bikes have boomed, with 2020 sales increasing by 43 % over 2019. This has happened at the same time as EU governments have put in more than 2300 km of bike lanes.
Another asset of Dance is its strong team with a fantastic track record: Dance was founded by SoundCloud founders Eric Quidenus-Wahlforss and Alexander Ljung, along with the co-founder of web design startup Jimdo, Christian Springub.
We are proud to co-invest with major VCs and angels like Berlin-based VC BlueYard Capital, Ilkka Paananen (founder and CEO of Supercell), Jeannette zu Fürstenberg (La Famiglia), Kevin P. Ryan (founder and CEO of AlleyCorp), Neil Parikh (founder and CSO of Casper), Bjarke Ingels (founder and CEO of Big Architects), Jeffrey Katzenberg and Sujay Jaswa, and several others.
Science-based impact assessment
Scientific studies suggest that e-bike riders use e-bikes to displace the full range of transportation options; over 50% of the distances formerly covered by car were covered by e-bike. Our detailed inhouse Life Cycle Assessment show that Dance needs to displace only a much smaller share of car usage than reported in scientific literature in order to result in an overall net reduction in GHG emissions and resource demand. These outcomes underline our confidence that Dance will result in a net decrease in GHG emissions and resource demand.