Perth Investor Revives Tiller

Fremantle, WA

Fremantle e-bike manufacturer Tiller has been rescued by a new investor, Perth company Electro Ventures, Tiller founder and owner Julian Illich announced this month.

Julian said the venture will move forward as Tiller 2.0, which will shift the business model to a lease-to-buy model, with weekly payments instead of up-front payment.

He said that would be “combined with a sharing platform so riders can share their e-bike for income if that’s their preference”.

As part of launching Tiller 2.0, the company is looking for a new CEO.

In April, the premium e-bike developer went into voluntary administration after Covid restrictions caused costly production delays and a tightening financial market slowed Tiller’s final stages of developing its Roadster e-bike.

Delays in fulfilling pre-orders and implementing Tiller’s planned branding and marketing campaign significantly impeded anticipated revenue streams, forcing a rationalisation of staff and ultimately leading to the decision to enter voluntary administration.

The company was “seeking a person or business in Australia, Europe or elsewhere with experience in taking a product like this to market, to either take a majority share of Tiller or buy the business and/or the Roadster’s production line outright”.

The company achieved a major milestone late last year when it started deliveries of its highly integrated, monocoque Roadster. In late 2022 and early in 2023, it delivered all of the 250 pre-orders for the bike.

According to a report in WA’s Startup News publication, Electro Ventures acquired a 39.9% share in the company to become the major shareholder.

The creditors of Tiller Rides last month voted in favour of the deal which will ensure they were paid out in full.

Soon after the creditors meeting, an extraordinary general meeting of shareholders voted in favour of issuing the required shares to Electro Ventures and creating a 20% share pool for the new senior executives to be recruited.

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