Upway: Electric Mobility For All
Luciana Lixandru on behalf of Team Sequoia
This month marks my ten-year anniversary in venture capital, and rare and exciting have been the occasions when I met founders who are shaping a new category. I had this feeling when I met Will at Deliveroo in 2014, Daniel at UiPath in 2016, Andrey at Miro in 2018 and Johnny at Hopin in 2019. Meeting Toussaint and Stéphane at Upway was deja vu, to use a term close to home for them.
At Sequoia we love partnering with founders from idea to IPO and beyond. We met Toussaint and Stéphane at the idea stage, and what an idea! Reducing greenhouse gas emissions to protect our climate is perhaps the most urgent mission of our generation, and shifting to electric mobility is a must. Unfortunately, production of electric vehicles — especially those on two wheels — hasn’t scaled with demand, prices have remained high, and there is no platform for preloved vehicles to be resold. Upway’s mission is to address these challenges and make electric mobility accessible to all, by building a worldwide marketplace for reconditioned small electric vehicles. They’ll source from both consumers and businesses, then sell via their platform, allowing customers to buy e-bikes at the click of a button, without long wait times, and at a better price.
While Upway launched in the Paris region (set to become one of the most bike-friendly cities in the world over the next five years), their ambitions are global — a tall order, but if anyone can do it, it’s them. Having cut their teeth at Uber in some of the most operationally demanding roles, Toussaint and Stéphane are now moving their team forward at lightning speed. (If you would like to join them, please reach out!) We at Sequoia are proud to lead their seed round and thrilled to be part of their electric journey.