Woom to Double Workforce by 2022: Merging European and US Operations

PeopleExecutives ♦ Published: August 20, 2021; 15:44 ♦ (Vindobona)

The Austrian children's bicycle manufacturer woom has merged its operations in Europe and the USA. The company is also expected to double its workforce by 2022, creating more jobs in the manufacturing industry. Read more about woom and its recent merger.

Co-founder of woom Marcus Ihlenfeld: "Joining forces with the USA will make woom more dynamic and more innovative." / Picture: © woom GmbH / Andreas Rhomberg

The Austrian children's bicycle manufacturer woom has merged its operations in Europe and the USA. The parent company, based in Klosterneuburg, and the U.S. general importer have been merged into one company.

“Merging in this way will allow us to pool our strengths and our passion,” explains Marcus Ihlenfeld, who founded woom together with product designer Christian Bezdeka in a garage in Vienna back in 2013. Bezdeka confirms, “This is a major milestone that will help us get as many children as possible excited about cycling and do our bit to make the world a better place.”

North American market growth

Since 2014, woom USA had been distributing the children's bikes developed in Klosterneuburg as a general importer, and it quickly became woom Europe's most important distribution partner. Most recently, nearly 50,000 bikes were sold annually in the USA. This is almost one-sixth of woom's total production - with a strong upward trend.

Marcus Ihlenfeld's brother Mathias is responsible for the success of woom in the USA and has made woom the fastest growing bicycle brand in the country. In the future, he will lead the company together with Christian Bezdeka, Marcus Ihlenfeld and woom Managing Director Guido Dohm. The extended management board will also include Martin J. Bartmann and Paul Fattinger (BDO Austria).

Austria: 200 employees soon

The international orientation of woom is accompanied by a substantial increase in personnel. Experts are being sought on both sides of the Atlantic. By mid-2022, woom is expected to employ a total of 300 people worldwide. In Austria, the workforce will grow to 200 people over the next twelve months: that is almost double the current level. In its hometown of Klosterneuburg, woom is already among the top four employers with the most employees.

Shortening waiting times for customers

The merger of woom Europe and woom USA is occurring at a very challenging time for the bicycle industry. The COVID-19 years have been marked by delivery problems for bicycle components, breakdowns in the international movement of goods and long waiting times for customers. The merger is one step of several that the company is taking to continue its growth course–even under more difficult conditions. For example, in 2021, woom opened a new production facility in Świebodzin, Poland, together with its German partner SPRICK Cycles. Simultaneously, the children's bicycle manufacturer launched the full digitalization of its supply chain management.

Focus: Customer service, user experience

Through the merger, woom's managing directors expect to optimize customer service and user experience in line with the U.S. model and to intensify the exchange of information across borders. “Joining forces with the USA will make woom more dynamic and more innovative. Both teams are already working well together internally and the future is looking very bright. We are so excited about what we are going to be able to achieve for our customers by taking our creativity to the next level like this,” says Marcus Ihlenfeld.

His brother Mathias is also looking forward to a new stage, “We've come a long way since we were assembling those first bikes in that garage–my brother and Christian in Vienna and myself over here in Austin, Texas. Reinventing ourselves is part of the woom way. And so we're going to be carrying on with our journey together from this point. More united than ever before.”

About woom

Woom was Founded in 2013 in Vienna by Christian Bezdeka and Marcus Ihlenfeld in a garage in Vienna. Every third newly purchased children's bike in Austria is a woom bike. Woom is present in 30 countries worldwide, with a major presence in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the USA. Woom’s annual growth rate is over 50 percent. In 2020, woom brought on board a group of investors, including Bregal Unternehmerkapital, Runtastic founder Florian Gschwandtner and Austrian investor Stefan Kalteis. They sold more than 200,000 bikes in 2020, an increase of 63 percent compared to 2019. In 2021, they introduced a new plant for final production in Poland.