Berlin-based Onomotion has come up with a scalable way to do micromobility-powered urban logistics — cargo e-bikes with built-in cover from the elements and attachable containers. Today, Onomotion has a couple hundred vehicles on the road in Germany with logistics partners like UPS, DPD and Hermes. Over the next few years, the company wants to expand to several thousands of vehicles across Europe and North America.
Onomotion just closed its Series A, with €6 million ($6.3 million) in equity and €15 million ($15.7 million) in debt. The equity comes from Proeza Ventures, Zu na mi GmbH, the European Innovation Council and existing investors; and the debt, in the form of a bond, is operated by GLS Bank. Onomotion will pay GLS back after seven years, including a yearly interest rate of 5.5%, according to Beres Seelbach, co-founder and CEO. The executive said Onomotion will use the debt to build more vehicles so it can scale operations.
The funding comes as more cities and logistics companies move towards finding both more sustainable and efficient solutions for delivering packages in dense urban centers.
“We want to go to international markets in Europe like Paris or Brussels and then to North America, United States and Canada,” Seelbach told TechCrunch. “We want to improve the vehicle, make it even better by adding new features and building new versions, maybe with different modules. And of course, we would also like to invest into the marketing and sales team.”
Onomotion’s vehicle-as-a-service business model involves customers paying a monthly fee for vehicles, containers, chargers, maintenance and servicing. The startup also offers a fleet management program and provides over-the-air software updates so the vehicle mechanics can constantly improve, said Seelbach.
Since the company is largely vertically integrated — Onomotion designs its own vehicles and assembles them in Berlin — Onomotion is able to customize containers for different customer needs. For example, one IT customer uses a container that’s built with specific compartments to hold laptops and other gadgets securely, Seelbach said.
Most of Onomotion’s customers have their own delivery riders, but the startup is slowly growing another business unit that offers a logistics operations team.
“15% to 20% of our turnover this year will come from logistics-as-a-service,” said Seelbach. “Many of our customers have said it’s difficult to find a driver. It’s a big headache to organize the last mile logistics…So for some of our customers, we do everything, from giving them the vehicles to the drivers.”
Seelbach said Onomotion aims to expand that service to cities in Germany outside Berlin and Hamburg, where it’s currently offered.
“We have a pipeline of new customers for this business division,” he said.