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CAKE, Swedish Maker of Electric Motorcycles, Files for Bankruptcy

Already facing financial woes, CAKE struggled to find new funding after several investors suddenly pulled their support, according to Swedish news reports.

The bankruptcy filing comes just weeks after CAKE announced its latest motorcycle, the Bukk; (photo/CAKE)
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CAKE, a young Swedish company making high-end electric motorcycles, has filed for bankruptcy, according to multiple news reports. The company, already struggling financially, faced a sudden shortfall this year after some investors pulled out shortly before a funding round. That led CAKE’s owners to file for bankruptcy on February 1, reported Swedish publications Dagens IndustriBreakit, and Aftonbladet.

“It is not one but several circumstances that have caused us to end up in this situation,” CAKE CEO Stefan Ytterborn told Dagens Industri. “Climate issues are no longer in focus; we are in a recession. It’s about us, but it’s also about the venture capital ecosystem. At the moment it is completely dead, there are no takers in the later phase CAKE is in.”

With their toy-like appearance and all-electric motors, CAKE’s motorcycles generated plenty of buzz in just a few short years. An example is a marketing scheme, “Electric Conquest of Continents,” with professional riders using CAKE bikes to cross Africa and North America. The company also worked with GoalZero to develop stealthy “bush bikes” to help rangers fight the poaching of African wildlife.

CAKE also designed motorbikes specifically for delivery professionals and even tried to venture into the e-scooter market.

cake electric motorcycles north america
CAKE U.S. Sales Manager Jackie Rosenstein and motorcyclist Bobbie Long celebrate after crossing America on two of CAKE’s electric motorbikes; (photo/CAKE)

In GearJunkie’s review of the Kalk OR, bike editor Seiji Ishii took the off-road bike for a test ride, calling it “insanely fun.” But with a price tag of $13,000, he also had difficulty reconciling the price to traditional gas dirt bikes, which have more true dirt capability and range.

“So who is the Kalk OR for? It’s for me — if I had more disposable income,” Ishii wrote.

Other potential buyers may have felt the same hesitation. Since its founding in 2016, the company has only sold about 6,000 motorcycles, Breakit reported. The Swedish publication also reported last month that CAKE’s employees would have their salaries delayed because the company lacked enough funds to pay them.

It’s also in a potentially tricky situation with investors, as CAKE reportedly has six different types of shares, granting some owners greater rights than others. Ytterborn told Dagens Industri (DI) that that has made things difficult.

“As recently as yesterday, I thought we were at the finish line,” he told DI. “But at the last moment, specific committed actors have chosen to drop out.”

CAKE didn’t return requests for comment on Friday.

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