In January 2021, THE PACK “Electric Motorcycles News” published its first article about FTN Motion. The story was picked up by other motor media magazines. And today, a few months later, the company has some exciting news.
Source: press release FTN Motion | After pitching their unique electric motorbikes to key private investors and angels clubs up and down New Zealand, FTN Motion from Wellington has closed its investment round of NZD $500,000, oversubscribed by at least $60K.
The three co-founders, Luke Sinclair, Kendal Birstow and Saskia Thornton met with individuals and clubs in Wellington, Nelson, Blenheim and Aukland, amongst other locations, and attracted both local and international investment.
This initial investment will be used for R&D to bring the existing Streetdog prototype model to a full certifiable model. It will also be used to make the start-up’s first key hires and to develop 10 Beta units to be sold to Wellington-based businesses in July 2021.
Thornton says: ‘Being all new to the world of raising money, we learnt a lot about capital raising and the value of having some market validation as early as possible to get investors over the line faster. We also learnt that asking for money at the end of the year is not great! Most people in New Zealand have clocked out, which added a bit of extra time on our raise journey to reach our target.’
The team plans to do another raise around October 2021, in order to raise extra capital for a larger production run. This run will also include the 100 Founder’s Editions Streetdogs, which are currently being pre-sold to Early Adopters and which will be produced by December 2021.
The Founder’s Series bikes were released by FTN Motion as part of gaining early market validation and building brand awareness early on. Making the first 100 Founder’s Edition Streetdogs available for pre-order at NZD $100 at the end of January, FTN Motion has now already sold over 80 of the bikes though word-of-mouth, a bit of media attention, and by driving around Wellington handing out flyers.
Sinclair says: ‘We didn’t have any money to spend on advertising so we hit the streets and just showed the bike off! It was great to get so much traction without spending any money. It really helped prove we were onto something. People just love the design and there’s nothing out there like it!’.
Starting out at a unique time, Luke Sinclair and Kendall Bristow completed the first prototype of their electric moped during the COVID-19 lockdown, proving that something good can come out of the devastating global pandemic. Together with their Amsterdam based co-founder Saskia Thornton, they formed FTN Motion, they’re seeking to change the way New Zealanders and the world commute by creating sleek, timeless electric vehicles rooted in the carefree Kiwi lifestyle.
Luke: ‘8 years ago, Kendall and I set off to walk the length of NZ along the Te Araroa trail. We found that life’s good when you can move at your own pace and on your own terms, without all the noise of the modern world. It was also a real wake up call for us to take a bit more care of this awesome country, and get more proactive about climate change’.
Back in the real world, Luke and Kendall received a shock to the system starting out in their engineering careers in Auckland. Kendall: ‘Like thousands of others we found ourselves wasting hours a day commuting across town in gridlock traffic, pumping out endless clouds of emissions. We started looking for alternatives’.
Meanwhile, Saskia decided to ditch the traffic of Auckland all together and moved to Amsterdam where she fully embraced a life of not owning a car and cycling wherever she went. ‘Life is so much easier and less stressful when your life isn’t revolving around the worries of driving, finding parks, and traffic’. She hopes that by bringing New Zealanders products like FTN Motion they will help motivate the much needed change to kiwi’s current commuting habits.
Different by design
FTN Motion is looking to introduce a new breed of electric mopeds. Their moped has a unique classic motorbike feel paired with purposefully minimalist technology and lay-out, for a stress-free, uncomplicated riding experience that will be loved by commuters and adventurers alike. The battery is easily removable and can charge from any wall socket, and their moped has more storage space (30L) than almost any other similar vehicle. It has a top speed of 50 km/h and can be driven with a car license.
Unique opportunity for customisation
Their bikes also offer a unique opportunity for customisation: the bike’s body is a blank canvas ready for personalisation for customers and brands. Working together with like-minded New Zealand start-ups and brands, FTN Motion is offering a new way of thinking about what a motorbike can be by turning bikes into stunning works of art while also providing an exciting and fresh marketing opportunity for local businesses. They are currently in negotiations with some of New Zealand’s most iconic brands and renown local and international artists.
Beta Launch sold out
FTN Motion’s initial beta launch quickly sold out, purely by word-of-mouth. Their eyes are now firmly set on a limited Early Adopter launch of 100 bikes which are on sale now, and will be produced by the end of 2021. Co-founder Saskia is based in Amsterdam, and the company is looking beyond Kiwi shores and planning a quick launch into the Netherlands in 2022, where there are massive opportunities in the electric moped and commuting industry.
FTN Motion’s unique Kiwi approach to designing an uncomplicated, stress-free way of commuting will be key to differentiating them in the international market. Early traction has been very positive, with international interest coming in from all corners of the globe.
- Powered by electric 3KW hub motor
- 100 km range
- Top speed 50km/hr
- 62 kg weight
- Moped class, ride on car license
About the Founders
Kendall Bristow is a mechanical engineer with 7 years experience specializing in design for manufacture, machine design & industrial automation. He was the original brains behind the idea of building an electric moped, but was quickly joined by his good mate Luke, at which point they settled on developing a very classic design with lots of storage (something they saw missing in the market).
Luke Sinclair previously worked as a mechanical and design engineer for New Zealand companies, including Methven, designing and developing technology aimed at improving water efficiency in showers and tapware. In 2016 to 2017 he completed a nine month overland trip from India to the UK by motorbike.
Saskia Thornton joined the team shortly after the first prototype was born and brings with her 11 years of developing brands and products on the international stage. She is the original founder of the Mad Millie cheesemaking kits and led the development of the market-disrupting Grainfather brand, which introduced the first affordable at-home electric brewing system to the world. She currently lives in Amsterdam where she’s fully immersed herself in a world of bike and moped culture.
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