Ponooc invests in UNIT 1; smart bike accessories

Leading investors in this funding round were Ponooc and Slingshot, two leading Dutch VCs in mobility & consumer tech, respectively. Joyned Capital, a collective of successful athletes, and angel investors also participated.

With the recent boom of e-bikes, rider safety is more important than ever. UNIT 1’s mission is to make mobility safer through design and technology with smart safety accessories for bikes, e-bikes, and e- scooters. With thousands of riders across the globe already wearing their FARO Smart Helmet just 1 year after launching, UNIT 1 is well positioned to accelerate its growth in the accessory market. The funds will be employed to expand the UNIT 1 team, accelerate R&D for their safety-focused tech suite, and grow their product line-up.

Raising a Series A Round at the close of their first year in the space, UNIT 1 gains world-class partners to continue designing beautiful, tech-enabled products that will save lives and people will love to wear.

Founders Juan Garcia Mansilla and Francisco Abelleira Blanco.

About UNIT 1

UNIT 1 increases rider safety with their beautifully designed smart helmets, lights, and other bicycle accessories. All of their products have a strong tech element that increases rider safety and a strong design element that erases pain points in the ‘usual’ riding experience. This is especially true with the FARO Smart Helmet, their first product in the space. FARO features a beautiful design filled with technical innovation to protect the rider and even prevent crashes from happening. They have taken FARO to a whole new level through their partnership with Stromer – the leading speed pedelec player: UNIT 1 has connected their FARO Smart Helmet directly to the Stromer bikes, creating a completely new riding experience (video link).

About the Investors
Ponooc – a venture capital fund based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, with a focus on mobility and energy – brings expertise in the mobility sector through its close ties with Pon Holdings, the holding company of, amongst others, Pon.Bike, that owns brands such as Urban Arrow, Veloretti, Kalkhoff, and Focus. ”The team of Unit 1 has demonstrated that the highest safety specs and beautiful design can go hand in hand. We believe that the safety accessory market will further grow and look forward to support Juan and Francisco in the next growth phase.” says Friso Bensdorp, Director at Ponooc.

Co-leading the Round is Slingshot Ventures, an Amsterdam-based VC Firm with focus on Consumer Tech and considerable know-how in the space. Tom Kist, managing partner at Slingshot says: “With e-bikes becoming more visible in today’s streets, we believe that road safety is going to become increasingly important. UNIT 1’s approach to putting safety at the core of its smart products through combining both improved visibility and connectivity are crucial elements to improving cyclists’ safety. The UNIT 1 Series A – Press Release team has really impressed us with their vision and their performance to date, and together with Ponooc, we are excited to be a part of their future”.