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New Zealand-based company Manta5 has opened a whole new frontier for cycling, offering the world's first hydrofoil bike that replicates the cycling experience on water, creating a new sport for anyone seeking a thrill.
Technology and innovation have been at the heart of the company's approach to creating a new experience that combines sport and entertainment.
After a successful launch in its home country, Manta5 is set to revolutionise watersports in Europe with an official launch on 7th September during Cannes Yachting Festival 2021.
After an intensive R&D and product development period, the company launched the first prototype in 2018, garnering 350+ million views on social media. Half-bike, half-plane, the ‘Hydrofoiler’ replicates the cycling experience on water using carbon fibre foils not unlike America’s Cup sailboats.
First launched in New Zealand and the United States, this eco-friendly innovation was an immediate international success. This was particularly noticed at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2020, when it was launched, (ranking #1 on Google #CES2020 amidst 4,500 global high-tech exhibitors and major brand launches) and securing $5 million (c. €4.2 million) for its first year of sales.
“We’ve been able to make an immediate splash within a few booming market verticals. The opportunity now lies in fuelling the growth of this new sport,” said founder, Guy Howard-Willis. “This completely new leisure craft category is now riding the wave of ‘holiday at home’ and ‘wellness’ trends proving demand for this new sports category – ‘Hydrocycling’. We are delighted to be able to offer this great innovation to French and Spanish consumers today.”
The first bike off the shelf is the XE-1 (X= all ‘water terrain, E= Electric assist, 1= first edition), an electric assist pedal model where users can change the level of motor assistance. Riders looking to put in maximum physical effort can reach speeds of 11 knots and get up to 4 hours ride time.
The hydrofoil bikes are made from strong carbon fibre and aircraft-grade aluminium, making them buoyant and light enough to carry.
Backed by the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE), Manta5 has now set up its new European base of operations in Southern France.
“New Zealanders have a strong affinity and love of the water; we see the same connection in French and Spanish culture. It’s the right place to begin building hydrofoil cycling communities across Europe,” said CEO, Mark Robotham.
Taking inspiration from the many different disciplines within the cycling industry, the company is planning to hit $100 million (c. €85 million) revenue in 2023 by releasing a range of water bikes designed to highlight unique riding experiences. With public listing aspirations in the next two years, Manta5 is actively engaging with distributors and is eager to speak with other interested parties.
During the Cannes Yachting Festival, Manta5 will officially present its hydrofoil bike to international partners, distributors, and the media the during a dedicated press conference. For media, there is the possibility to preview and test the Hydrofoiler XE-1 model at locations between Antibes and Marseille on the Côte d’Azur before the public launch.
“It's an exciting time for us at Manta5, a young New Zealand company entering the EU market with a unique offering that promises to revolutionise the cycling and nautical sectors. We have experienced huge growth since 2018 and our EU arrival will provide the catalyst to achieve our goal of becoming a new global sport,” said Rowan Gyde, Manta5 European business development manager.
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