Following its success in Oxford, the business now plans to launch in five further cities across the UK
A peer-to-peer bike-sharing social marketplace, which is thought to be the first of its kind in the UK, has today (Monday, 10 October) launched a crowdfunding campaign to facilitate its nationwide expansion, which will include launching in Edinburgh.
Cycle.land has rolled out a £100,000 investment campaign on equity crowdfunding platform Seedrs offering new and existing customers the first opportunity to share in its future success. Following its success in Oxford, the business now plans to launch in five further cities across the UK: Edinburgh, Brighton, Bristol, Cambridge and London.
Its web-app enables UK members and international travellers to borrow bikes from local cyclists, families and vendors, from as little as £1 per day.
Launched in Oxford in April 2016 by Agne Milukaite, a former Oxford University student and one of the few female business leaders in the cycling sphere, Cycle.land has proven so popular in the city that several hundred bikes are now on the site.
User numbers have increased 100% month-on-month since launch, and more than 1,000 keen users have already accumulatively borrowed bikes for the equivalent of three years’ time (the same as cycling for more than 1000 days straight).
The company hopes to exceed a £1.5 million turnover by 2018 and has its sights set on becoming a £35 million company by 2020.
Capital raised on Seedrs will be used to help Cycle.land expand its team, and build new partnerships with local businesses and communities in each city to ensure bikes are easily available to everyone.
Cycle.land says it’s launching at an ideal time based on new data from the Department for Transport, highlighting that British people are making fewer car trips, but cycling more often and for longer than ever before.
The survey shows that in 2015 bike owners cycled 23% further than in 2002, and made 17% more trips by bike. Cycle.land has also identified that 65% of all trips made by people in the UK were for less than five miles (the equivalent of 30 minutes or less by bike) – and plans to convert people to make these journeys by bike.
Cycle.land says it plans to build a UK-wide community of enthusiastic, socially engaged cyclists who borrow bikes, reduce car traffic, and share tips.
Partners in Oxford include Oxford’s Lady Margaret Hall College, where Benedict Cumberbatch and Emma Watson are two of 11 visiting fellows who can make use of the bikes, along with students, dons and staff.
Cycle.land users sign in online from their smartphone or laptop, find a bike they want to borrow and book it directly with the owner in a couple of clicks. Bikes are accessed via regular or combination locks, as well as innovative new technology, Noke locks, a keyless sharable smartphone lock, which enables users to access bikes direct from their smartphone.
CEO and co-founder Milukaite said: “Our mission is to get people cycling. Zipcar, Drivy, Tesla and Uber are all exciting, fast-growing companies that are making a difference in how we move. But as a society, we are in trouble if innovation is solely focused on cars. With Cycle.land, we’re building a sustainable company focused on shared bike mobility that is at least as disruptive as car and ride sharing companies.
“Shared bike mobility is the next great disruptor in urban transport. Amsterdam and Copenhagen today offer a glimpse at the future of urban mobility everywhere. Just like there, we believe the majority of short trips in urban areas will be made on bikes. We are delighted to be raising on Seedrs with Seedrs and offer our members the chance to own part of the company at seed stage and share in its future success”.
Roy Azoulay, Head of Oxford University Incubator, added: “Cycle.land is leading the way at Oxford University Innovation as our first company to launch an equity crowdfunding campaign. Agne and her team are true visionaries, and have already been incredibly successful at turning their idea into a revenue generating business and a service that is cherished by an enthusiastic and loyal customer base here in Oxford. We’re delighted Cycle.land is working with Seedrs’s co-founder and former Oxford MBA, Jeff Lynn, so they can continue to accelerate their growth and launch in five cities across the country.”
Jeff Lynn, CEO and co-founder of Seedrs, said: “We are very pleased that Cycle.land has chosen Seedrs for its capital-raising needs. I am particularly fond of businesses, like this one, that emerge from Oxford University: I spent two very happy years there as a graduate student, and my co-founder, Carlos Silva, and I started working on Seedrs while we were pursuing our MBAs there. But it’s not just about the Oxford connection: Cycle.land is a great example of a business using modern technology to facilitate a popular activity in a new way. I’m thrilled to be working with them and wish them tremendous success.”