Estonian cargo bike manufacturer Hagen Bikes has filed for bankruptcy after being unable to fulfill orders, in turn due to a lack of investment.
Company founder Kaspar Peek said: "Hagen Bikes AS has been an early-stage growth company whose cash flows are typically unstable and whose operations are often unprofitable so far. "
"To cover losses and grow the company, from the summer of 2022, the management sought additional financial resources in the form of investments " Peek went on.
Hagen Bikes submitted its bankruptcy petition to the first-tier Harju County Court on Friday, however.
Peek said that while a sufficient volume of investments were found, together with loans and a healthy rate of forecast orders under negotiations, the major client had subsequently hived off their order into more than one part and had been unable to confirm the total volume before the delivery of the first of these parts were due.
This, Peek said, had the knock-on effect of rendering impossible the fulfillment of planned contracts so far as investors were concerned
"Management also communicated with various banks, but the use of factoring and other financial services did not prove to be possible on a sufficient scale ahead of the official confirmation of the total volume of the large order," he added.
An attempt to publicly float company shares also failed as a means of resolving its liquidity crisis, Peek added, as did attempts to source sufficient investment even after this.
"For this reason, the management assesses the company's insolvency as a permanent state of affairs," he added.
A cargo bike (Estonian: Kastiratas, literally box bike) usually consists of an open or enclosed box (see cover image), or a flat platform or wire basket, with various configurations available in terms of wheel set-up, including two parallel front wheels.
Users provide pedal power in the normal way, though this can be augmented via a small motor also.
Designs allow for larger loads than a regular bicycle could carry, and so cargo bikes are a popular means of ferrying around both inanimate loads such as mail or food, and animate ones, in the form of smaller humans or sometimes pets.
They are occasionally seen on the streets of Tallinn, and are much more common in more cycle-friendly cities in, for instance, Western Europe.
Editor: Andrew Whyte, Merili Nael