December 6, 2023

French startups Kate It has raised $7.6 million (€7 million) in funding from a group of business angels. As I’ve written about in previous articles about Kate, the company has ambitious goals for everyday mobility. It plans to use the funding to develop alternatives to regular cars (electric or non-electric) by making things smaller, cheaper and easier to maintain.

Investors in the startup include Julien Lemoine (Co-founder and CTO of Algolia), Emmanuelle Brizay (AC8 INVEST), Christophe Maurissen (Managing Director of Alcogroup), Romain Afflelou (CEO of Cosmo Connected), Benoit Charles- Lavauzelle (CEO of Theodo) and Antoine Leconte (Founder of Cheerz).

Kate didn’t start from scratch.Company acquires NoSmoke, a small electric car maker inspired by Mini MokThis way, Kate was able to reuse some parts and borrow some of the manufacturing processes already used to produce recreational vehicles.

But Kate’s next car, currently called the K1, will be designed to be used every day, not just for your holiday home. In Europe, people traveling from point A to point B use a large vehicle (like a regular car) on 84% of their trips. It accounts for 11% of CO2 emissions. However, 98% of trips are shorter than 80 kilometers (or 50 miles).

Renderings of the upcoming Kate K1

Image credits: Kate

The Kate K1 will be a lightweight car with a top speed of 90 km/h (56 mph). It’s not designed for your long trips. In this case, you are better off renting a regular car. It’s not designed for big cities, where public transit, bikes, and shared vehicles work better.

But the Kate K1 is perfect for people living in the suburbs or the countryside. It would be nice to drop your kids off at school, then to work, then to the supermarket. It will have four seats and the entry level should offer 200 kilometers (124 miles) of battery range.

Kate has an aggressive timetable, as it wants to launch the K1 in the third quarter of 2023. Mystery renders aside, here’s what the currently available recreational vehicle Original looks like:

Photo of the Kate Original, a four-seater recreational vehicle inspired by the Mini Moke.

Image credits: Kate