Swedbank Helps Domestic Start-up ILUS Bike Get its Bikes on the Streets


Ilus Bike 2024

The winner of the Prototron prototyping fund’s spring round, ILUS Bike, has signed a financing agreement with Swedbank. This agreement will support the team during the initial development and production stages and enable the implementation of a pilot project in Tartu.

ILUS is a simple and modular electric bike designed for rental services. Its modularity allows operators to customise the bike according to the specific city, business model and user needs.

‘We are currently at a development stage where our priority is to accumulate road kilometres. With the help of funds won from Swedbank, Green Accelerator, and Prototron’s spring round, we are developing and producing the first electric bikes, which will start operating on Tartu’s streets this summer. We anticipate high usage of the bikes during the test period and feedback from both the operator and users. This will prepare us to enter other European cities that are working towards integrating bike-sharing into their public transport systems,’ explains ILUS Bike’s CEO Rico Jaanipere.

The pilot project in Tartu is the first step in ILUS Bike’s journey, aiming to bring electric bikes to the streets of increasingly larger cities. ‘ILUS Bike is an ambitious start-up taking reasonable steps, by testing its idea in the local market before moving to international markets. Winning Prototron showed that the team has every reason to believe in their idea, and so do we. Therefore, we are happy to support the realisation of their innovative ideas,’ says Triin Preem, Head of Swedbank’s start-up segment.

Better Than Driving OÜ, the company behind the ILUS Bike brand, believes that current market solutions are not sufficient for effective operation. ILUS Bike’s uniqueness lies in its modular compatibility with all bike-sharing systems according to the operators’ and city’s requirements, such as rental platforms, charging systems, and additional equipment, both now and in the future. ILUS Bike also uses an Internet of Things device developed by Comodule, a company that won Prototron’s very first funding round in 2012.

Applications for Prototron’s autumn round are open until 31 August.