Classified Cycling, a Belgium-based company developing innovative technology for the cycling industry, today announces it has closed a funding round of €22 million led by Active Partners, the investors behind well-known cycling brands Rapha and Evans Cycles. Existing investor Bridford Investments Limited continue to support Classified by participating in the round. The company’s investors also include well-respected Olympic and World Champion riders, Tom Boonen, Anna Van der Breggen, Andre Greipel and Marcel Kittel. New funds will be used to accelerate new product development, including into e-bikes, expand the Classified team and establish new commercial and strategic partnerships across the globe. Nick Evans, Managing Partner at Active Partners, Chairman of Rapha and former Executive Chairman of Evans Cycles, will join the Classified board. Nick Evans and Daniel Linegar led the deal in the Active team.
The cycling industry has enjoyed rapid growth over recent years, but real technological progress and development has been slow compared with the automotive industry. Drivetrain and transmission systems in particular, the components of a bike that transfer power to the wheels are an area ready for new technology. Classified is a leading pioneer in this area, using deep technology expertise to transform the riding experience and performance for all cyclists, from Olympic competitors to everyday enthusiasts.
Mathias Plouvier, Co-Founder and CEO at Classified said: “We have developed technology unseen in the cycling industry, taking rider experience to the next level. We use ground-breaking innovation to push the boundaries of what is possible on the bike. Particularly shifting under load and improving efficiency are features required for ultimate performance and the next generation of e-mobility. With this new investment and an appetite for disrupting the cycling industry we are well equipped to take our technology to riders around the world.”
Founded in 2019 by Mathias Plouvier and Roëll van Druten, both with backgrounds in the automotive drivetrain industry, Classified has developed Powershift technology, a patented wireless shifting system that provides the ultimate shifting experience by allowing riders to change gears instantly while under full load, something not possible with current products on the market. This first-of-its-kind technology increases the efficiency and simplicity of the bike’s transmission, making it more like a gear system found in a car. The first application of Classified’s technology, the Powershift hub, is a transmission system integrated into the rear wheel that replaces the front derailleur (the component that moves the chain from one chain ring to the other when changing gears).
Since its launch in 2021, the Powershift hub has been praised as revolutionary by elite cyclists, with four cycling legends investing in Classified and acting as brand ambassadors. The product is approved by the official body of cycling, the UCI, for use in competition and the first victories in professional racing have already been achieved. Classified’s first product, the Powershift hub was awarded the Eurobike Gold Award and the Design & Innovation Award in 2021, both benchmark achievements presented to the bike industry’s most forward-looking and highest-performing products.
Classified is already in partnership with over 40 brands, and the Powershift hub is available through more than 25 distributors and 300 dealers in key markets. The new investment will be used to strengthen business development, with a strong focus on the US and Europe. Classified will also expand into the e-bike market, leveraging its Powershift technology to make a lighter, more durable and efficient transmission for electric bikes, making their deep tech products available to more riders globally.
Nick Evans, Managing Partner at Active Partners said: “Classified is disrupting the bike and e-bike markets with a genuinely differentiated and innovative product that radically improves the riding experience for all cyclists. Ride it once and you will feel the difference! We are excited by Mathias and Roëll’s vision to transform the future of cycling and look forward to helping the team to accelerate their product development, invest in the Classified brand and distribution, build strategic partnerships and accelerate the widespread adoption of their technology by the industry and riders around the world.”
Tom Boonen, Former Cycling World Champion and Classified investor and ambassador added: “As a professional rider, I was always in search of cutting-edge technology. When I met the Classified Team, I was so amazed by their innovative products that I decided to invest in the company, not only for their technology but also for their drive to shake up the industry, and this beyond race bikes. I am thrilled to be a part of Classified’s journey and look forward to continuing to support them.”