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DENSO Takes $20M Stake In Speed E-Bike Startup

DENSO says its investment in dock-less eBike service will help the company accelerate development of “Mobility as a Service” technologies and systems while protecting the environment.

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DENSO has taken a stake in Palo Alto, California-based Bond Mobility Inc., the world’s only speed eBike sharing company that delivers high-performance micromobility services. The close of Bond’s $20 million series A funding round was led by DENSO’s New Mobility Group out of its global headquarters in Japan, and Ininvest. DENSO says it will use Bond’s technologies to accelerate the development of its Mobility as a Service (MaaS) model. 

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In recent years, heavy traffic congestion in urban areas all over the world has contributed to one of the largest shares of greenhouse gas emissions. While DENSO is committed to reducing CO2 emissions by half with technologies that resolve global warming, energy and resource issues, micromobility is another solution to the problem, according to the company. Micromobility is defined as an urban transportation solution covering short distances and includes options like eBikes, scooters and docked bikes. 

Bond’s eBikes have top speeds of 30 miles per hour with average trips of four miles versus conventional micromobility services, which typically cover distances of only 1.5 miles. DENSO believes this makes Bond a true car replacement and the fastest form of transport for urban journeys under six miles.

“While DENSO is certainly concerned about the projected future decline of new car sales in the United States, we are also very excited about the growth possibilities offered by the new types of mobility that are being pioneered by startup companies around the world,” said Tony Cannestra, director of corporate ventures at DENSO. “While micromobility is a fairly new concept for the transportation industry, its potential value to urban environments is undeniable, and it is an area we are excited to support through an investment in Bond Mobility. With the rise of smart cities and countries focusing on reducing environmental harm, Bond Mobility has the capabilities to provide people with easy and safe short-range transportation options, enabling DENSO to help achieve its goal of drastically reducing CO2 emissions.” 

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Bond provides micromobility through its high-performance speed eBike service, currently operating in Zurich and Bern, Switzerland. Bond has the power and speed to provide wide-ranging utility in an urban environment while easily fitting into local “bicycle” regulatory requirements. It also is safer, more efficient and more robust than other sharing services currently available, according to the company.

“At Bond, we have big ideas about the possibilities of small vehicles, and we are thrilled a top-tier auto supplier recognizes that as well and has made such a major investment in our company,” said Raoul Stockle, co-founder and CEO of Bond. 

Kirt McMaster, co-founder and CBO of Bond, added, “Through our partnership with DENSO and Ininvest, we’ll be able to bring our services to more citizens, cities and markets in the United States and abroad. High-performance micromobility is a revolution in urban transportation and DENSO sees this as the future.” 

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