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Rokit planning Nevada e-bike factory

Published December 21, 2020

A version of this article ran in the December issue of BRAIN.

LOS ANGELES (BRAIN) — The venture capital conglomerate Rokit Made has built a vast portfolio of products and services that include mobile phones, WiFi, and 3D content production. It claims to have secured more than 11 billion media impressions through its various global sponsorships.

Now it's entering e-bike manufacturing.

Rokit is jumping head-first into e-mobility in a big way, announcing in October plans to open an e-bike facility in Las Vegas next year. With negotiations with several 150,000 square-foot facilities underway, Rokit says it will be the largest e-bike manufacturing facility in the U.S. and is expected to have a lease signed by March, said Dean Becker, Rokit's CEO.

Along with fellow co-founder Jonathan Kendrick, Rokit took shape in 2018. Kendrick began his career securing the European rights to Yokohama tires but has since created a record label and a comic book business, and has investments in games companies, crypto currency, and emerging technologies.

Becker said it's the right time to enter the growing e-bike space.

"Through our research into the e-bike industry, we found that there is no foreign manufacturer with more than a 10% share of the U.S. market and no medium or large-scale manufacturer building their e-bikes in America," Becker said. "Additionally, around 85% of the components for e-bikes are shared across various models. Therefore, at Rokit Made, we will be able to produce e-bikes at scale by purchasing its components in bulk, and assembling them in our Las Vegas facility."

While not planning at first to make its own line of e-bikes, the companies it will work with will be announced soon, Becker said. In the first year of manufacturing, Rokit expects to build 300,000 e-bikes with a goal to increase production to 900,000. Rokit will handle marketing, retailer distribution and direct-to-consumer sales.

According to the latest NPD sell-through report released in October, e-bikes by far led all bicycle category sales with a year-over-year sales growth of 143% in August.

Rokit said it will manufacture e-bikes across all price points with exclusive rights to 10 designs from established companies and will be licensing more. One U.S. manufacturer that did not want to be identified received an email from Rokit offering to make it "the exclusive licensee for North America in manufacturing/assembling" for one of its existing e-bike models. Rokit asked for an advance payment of $1 million, with a royalty of 4% and "by ROKiT Made" next to the model name. The manufacturer did not respond to Rokit.

Rokit said it will eschew robotics in favor of workers. The facility will be large enough to employ 2,000, but initially it will provide 500 to 1,000 jobs.

"Rokit will provide on-the-job training to its employees and no prior experience in manufacturing will be required," Becker said.

Topics associated with this article: Electric bike

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