With their sleek and minimalistic design, the Swedish e-bikes Cake have become instantly recognisable on streets and rural roads in a growing number of countries. In 2018, the company stole the international limelight with the launch of its debut model ‘Kalk’, a premium off-road electric motorcycle weighing just 70 kg and with a top speed of 90 km/h.

Today, Cake is on a mission to continue its sharp growth curve with new vehicle models tailored to every rider preference – city commuting, food deliveries, off-road racing – you name it.

“It’s not just motorcycle enthusiasts who are discovering our e-bikes. Many of our customers are first-time buyers who are fascinated by the convenience of electrically powered two-wheel transport,” says Pontus Winberg, Chief Commercial Officer at Cake.

“We are also gaining a larger following among business customers. In fact, our B2B sales are exploding as regulatory changes begin to favour electric vehicles worldwide,” Winberg continues. 

Ready for expansion in Europe and the US

To meet the ubiquitous demand, Cake established a new factory on the outskirts of Stockholm in 2021. The new facility is set to produce 20,000 vehicles per year by 2025 and will significantly cut lead times. A further 30,000 e-bikes will be built annually at two additional production sites in the US and Taiwan.

Before scaling up production capacity, Cake initiated an expansion plan for the company’s two major markets Europe and the US. This endeavour took off when Cake won a pitching contest for Catalyst – Business Sweden’s accelerator programme for startups.

“We had already set up a few local entities in new markets but needed assistance. By joining Catalyst we got the opportunity to develop a strategic roadmap together with Business Sweden focusing initially on the Netherlands, which suited us perfectly. The learnings from this market gave us a blueprint for entering other countries,” says Winberg.

Bringing ‘CAKE hubs’ to the world

Cake aims to establish 25 global ‘Cake hubs’ by 2025 with a complete set-up including showrooms, sales teams, test driving and service facilities. After the Netherlands, the company set its sights on the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the US. Having local entities in each market is essential to maximise the customer experience Winberg says.

Business Sweden’s experts in Sweden and abroad provided market analysis and helped Cake set up procedures for vehicle importing, compliance with local rules and registration and to ensure that criteria are met to benefit from available environmental bonuses and government incentives for electric vehicles.

“International expansion is a complex puzzle. Without Business Sweden’s assistance, we could never have scaled up our presence in so many markets at the same time. Our main contact at Business Sweden had previous experience from similar projects, deep knowledge about our products and was very efficient.” – Pontus Winberg, Chief Commercial Officer, CAKE

But the collaboration also went further.

“In the Netherlands, Business Sweden helped us find a financing solution from an external partner. The support we received was all-encompassing and it was a great relief to be able to rely on their local market knowledge and government contacts.”

“International expansion is a complex puzzle,” Winberg adds. “Without Business Sweden’s assistance, we could never have scaled up our presence in so many markets at the same time. Our main contact at Business Sweden had previous experience from similar projects, deep knowledge about our products and was very efficient.”

New electric era for last-mile delivery

Besides performance and trend-setting design, Cake’s strong brand position in electric motorcycles and mopeds is owed to achievements in functional innovation. One of the company’s fastest growing business areas is last-mile delivery – a segment where Cake is turning out customised vehicle models to reinvent urban deliveries.

“We recently had an order from a company supplying façade windows. They will now deliver windows on two wheels with zero carbon emissions using a customised trailer. We also have a new model designed for food deliveries with an oven box mounted on the back which is hooked up to the bike’s battery.

“It’s about time we all say goodbye to cold and disappointing pizza deliveries,” Pontus Winberg concludes with a smile.

Innovation doesn’t end there. In collaboration with the Southern African Wildlife College (SAWC), Cake has launched the anti-poaching initiative Electric Bush Bike resulting in the purpose-built models Kalk AP and Ösa AP for park rangers.  

Cake’s global journey now continues at pace with additional expansion plans getting underway for Africa and Asia. Watch this space!

CHALLENGE

The Swedish e-bike manufacturer Cake needed help to expand its global business, meet ambitious growth targets and accelerating demand. Headquartered in Stockholm, the company faced challenges in terms of navigating diverse requirements when setting up local entities and operations in Europe and the US.

SOLUTION

Business Sweden’s accelerator programme for startups, Catalyst, gave the company a springboard to new international markets. Cake received both strategic and practical support on the ground from Business Sweden’s local teams, assisting with market analysis, import and export rules, registration processes and vehicle regulations, local financing and environmental bonuses.

RESULT

Cake’s management team achieved a fast-track to international growth with successful and simultaneous market entry in several European countries and the US. Thanks to Business Sweden’s local market knowledge and support in the Netherlands, the company avoided risk and addressed practical issues without delay – resulting in a blueprint for further expansion.

VALUE IMPACT

The collaboration paved the way for Cake’s international expansion, ultimately giving brand recognition and sales a significant boost. With steady momentum in Europe and the US, the company could jumpstart its long-term growth plan of establishing 25 showrooms, sales and service hubs worldwide by 2025.

 
About CAKE

CAKE is a Swedish electric bike company born out of a passion for gravity sports and a mission to develop the highest performance electric two-wheelers on the market. The company’s vision is to help accelerate the shift to a zero-emission society by reinventing how motorcycles and mopeds are used, in cities and off-road.

Based in Stockholm, Cake has production facilities in Sweden, Taiwan and the US with 30 employees at the company’s Swedish headquarters.