Bosch eBike Systems, a leading supplier in the field of eBike drive systems, is planning to acquire the Frankfurt am Main-based connected-biking start-up COBI. Founded in 2014, COBI GmbH offers eBikers and cyclists the opportunity to use their smartphone as a control, infotainment and display unit. “The acquisition of COBI GmbH provides the ideal opportunity to expand the product portfolio of Bosch eBike Systems in the area of connected products and services. COBI offers the necessary expertise and experience, as well as the appropriate technologies for a successful partnership,” says Claus Fleischer, CEO of Bosch eBike Systems. The parties have agreed not to disclose the acquisition price. The transaction is subject to the approval of the antitrust authorities.
The mobility of the future is electrified, automated and connected
COBI’s products and, above all, its technology platform make biking more connected and smarter. COBI offers services such as navigation, music, telephony and fitness. COBI also connects the rider with other apps such as Strava, Komoot, Spotify, Apple Health und Bluetooth fitness sensors. This means that an eBike or cycle ride becomes a unique digital experience.
The continuation of the company and of the COBI brand represents a great opportunity for the founder and CEO of COBI, Andreas Gahlert: “With Bosch as a strategic partner, we see huge scope for worldwide growth in the area of digitally connected products and services in the bike environment. For us, this is undoubtedly a significant step into the future”.
While a few years ago, the cycle sector was largely focused on mechanical and analogue products, these are now becoming increasingly electric and digital. eBikes enable targets to be achieved more efficiently, economically and in a more environmentally sustainable manner – energy (battery) and intelligence (sensors, control devices, CAN-Bus) are now on board and open up new technical possibilities. As a result, bike mobility is becoming electrified (drive systems, batteries, diagnostic tools), automated (shifting system, wheelset, brake systems) and connected (navigation, smartphone apps, online portals).
COBI’s offerings are largely aimed at the fast-growing digital target group which now uses the smartphone in many areas of daily life and also when cycling. COBI solves the issue of limited smartphone battery life and provides ease of use in a safe and comfortable manner while riding. In the background of the product portfolio, a technology platform of cloud, apps, services and firmware has evolved, which can be used in conjunction with existing Bosch systems for future digital solutions.
The eBike – the success story continues
Bosch eBike Systems offers an extensive portfolio of products for electric bicycles, ranging from drive systems through powerful batteries to intuitively operated, smart on-board and bicycle computers. Founded as a start-up venture within the Bosch Group in 2009, it has since become the global market leader in the premium segment. Over 70 leading bike brands worldwide trust ‘epowered by Bosch’ components. With the launch of the Bosch Nyon, the world’s first all-inone on-board computer for eBikes, in autumn 2014, the connected eBiker became a reality. COBI connects the bike or eBike rider directly with smartphone and app, and is therefore the ideal addition. In the future, Nyon and COBI will offer a choice to the cyclist.