BikesBooking is trying to change long-held behaviour amongst travellers where services such as the rental of bikes and scooters are often secured in-destination.
The company has created an online reservation service for scooters, motorcycles and bicycles worldwide, with two-wheeled vehicles in 37 countries from more than 600 local rental companies available for reservations ahead of a trip.
BikesBooking is based in Dublin, Ireland and allows travellers to compare prices on scooter and bike rental and make an online reservation with the usual best price guarantees and instant confirmation.
Here is a short video demo:
Q&A with co-founder and CEO, Anton Shreider:
What problem does your business solve?
You can book an airplane ticket, hotel room or rent a car easily and in 5 minutes, but try to do that with a scooter.It is still difficult to book it online, because rental companies have old websites without reservation function.
Two-wheeled vehicles are gaining more and more popularity as an alternative to car rental, we want to use this opportunity and create kind of “Expedia” on this market.
We also solve problem of rental companies, because they didn’t have any GDS before.
Names of founders, their management roles, and number of full-time paid staff?
- Anton Shreider - Co-Founder & CEO. Covers customer development, customer acquisition, product development, analytics, strategy, partner relations.
- Tatiana Skorniakova - Co-Founder & CMO. Covers PR, online advertisement, content marketing, SMM, analytics, customer relations.
- Alexander Levaev – CTO. Web and mobile developer.
We’ve been bootstrapping during the half of our first year and raised pre-seed round in July 2016 from Competitive Start Fund of Enterprise Ireland.
Currently we aggregate a lot of scooter and bike rentals in Barcelona, Rome, Lisbon, Ibiza and we raised first round to confirm the demand on these markets.
Now we are looking for seed investments to scale BikesBooking.com on other destinations in Europe, Asia and US.
We don’t charge any commission from our customers. Rental companies pay BikesBooking 15% commission from each reservation they receive via our platform.
We also have some arrangements with insurance companies to sell additional insurance for riders.
Why do you think the pain point you’re solving is painful enough that customers are willing to pay for your solution?
Firstly, it was pain of our founders. We travelled a lot and found it difficult to reserve a scooter online, the market was undeveloped.
It was the main reason why we’ve decided to create BikesBooking in October 2015.
Also we took into account success of car booking websites and we were right, scooter and bike rental is an alternative to car rental - hundreds of travellers were happy to use our service during this year.
External validation? (Examples: The incubators/accelerators you have been accepted to, the mentors who are advising you, the number of customers you’ve signed, the marketing partner deals you’ve made, the skills/connections of your founders, etc.)
We are generating revenue from the first month when we have launched public beta, now we have almost 4500 vehicles in our database available for reservation.
Some of our customers become returning customers.
We have a mentor from Hostelworld, biggest hostel reservation website, and we believe that we can change how people are moving in their trips.
Bike and scooter rental will become accompanying service for flight and hotel reservations soon, because it is not just an activity, it’s a convenient and cheap type of transportation for your holiday.
BikesBooking clearly wants to ride (no pun intended) on the trend towards attempts to open up in-destination services.
This happened a long time ago, with other activities and services also making that move in recent years (museum tickets, guides, etc).
The renting of bikes and scooters could be another activity that shifts in that direction, but there are a number of issues that remain.
Often, travellers will only decide or even realise that a two-wheeled mode of transport is what they will need or want to do once they're in-resort.
Ensuring BikesBooking is a service that is part of the in-destination, mobile ecosystem in travel will be key here.
But, again and again, BikesBooking's biggest challenge - as with other consumer-facing services - will be spreading the word.
PR, social media, et al, will only go so far.
BikesBooking will need a combination of marketing spend and partnerships with tourism boards in the country or cities that has a network in.