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Rein4ced receives 12 mio euros funding to expand production of innovative bike frames

12 May 2022

Leuven-based bicycle frame manufacturer REIN4CED is getting Flemish investment company PMV and Invest for Jobs on board in a new capital round. The money will be used for additional staff and expansion of production capacity.

The 12 million euros from PMV, the investment fund of the social partners from the metal and technology sector Invest for Jobs and the existing investors will be used by REIN4CED for a "scale-up plan," according to founder and CEO Michaël Callens. The company in Winksele near Leuven has about 50 employees. Now that the fresh capital has arrived, Callens says that 'about 20 more should be added before the end of the year'. The frame factory has to start working in three shifts instead of two.

REIN4CED produces bicycle frames based on a self-developed composite material and will therefore compete with carbon bikes. The REIN4CED material is as light and stiff as carbon, but less brittle. Small, internal, invisible cracks can cause carbon frames to suddenly break. REIN4CED combines carbon fibers with very fine steel fibers in strategic places in the frame that make the bike extra strong. Frame breakages should be a thing of the past with composite frames.

A year ago REIN4CED already raised 7 million euro from investment companies such as Capricorn, Quest for Growth, Gemma Frisius, Finindus and Innovation Fund (in which Total Energies and Solvay invest, among others).

For production, REIN4CED has built a fully automated frame factory in Leuven. The high degree of automation allows the frames to compete with the Asian frame builders who dominate the market. Since the corona pandemic and the disrupted global logistics, European bicycle manufacturers have been struggling with their Asian suppliers.

REIN4CED has so far been making frames for the electric mountain bikes of Slovakian bicycle brand Kellys. For Dutch bicycle giant Accell Group (known for brands such as Batavus, Koga, Ghost and Babboe), REIN4CED is collaborating on the development of new bicycle frames. Callens says that in the meantime the company is also developing frames with other bicycle brands. He does not give names, the contracts are still confidential.

The new capital injection also gives REIN4CED room to look further ahead. We are looking at a new growth strategy. This could consist of building a second factory. It will then take at least until 2025 before it is fully operational,' says Callens.

Source: De Tijd, translated by Leuven MindGate

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