Investment

Wealthy Swedes families back origami-like metal bending venture

A tech-driven manufacturing venture called Stilride has raised seed capital from a string of wealthy Swedish investors to develop products using robots to bend metal into shape, using a similar approach to origami.

The company will initially apply to produce the chassis and body for its new generation of electric motorcycles. It says it has 90,000 would-be purchasers on the waiting list.

Stilride was co-founded by Tue Beijer, who designed his first e-scooter in 1993 and worked with Giotto Bizzarrini, creator of the Lamborghini V12 engine. 

Beijer is a long-standing friend of Jonas Nyvang, the other co-founder, who previously led brand marketing for tennis legend Björn Borg.

Stilride’s $3.4 million seed round has been funded by four wealthy investors and their families.

Gustaf Hagman is chief executive of online LeoVegas Gaming, based in Malta, with operations in the UK and Sweden. Saeid Esmaeilizadeh, born in Tehran, is a Stockholm University professor in inorganic chemistry and co-founder of Serendipity Group, which has generated a stream of tech-driven businesses out of academic discoveries.

Sam Bonnier is one of the biggest investors in Fyndiq, which operates a platform for the sale of goods at a discount. He invests in Albacross, a digital marketing business and Remente, a mental well-being app, often with his brother.

The fourth investor, Andreas Adler, is an investment banking associate at DNB Markets in Stockholm.  

Stilrid has called its first e-motorcycle the Sport Utility Scooter One. It uses 70% fewer components than traditional bikes. The flat sheets of metal are sent to outlets for local assembly points, where they are folded and fitted with hub motors and battery packs. The overall approach produces significant savings in labour, materials and carbon.  The company raised its funds, through networking and word of mouth.  If sales take off, the company is likely to appeal to investors concerned over the environment, as well as profit potential. 

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