Buzzbike backed by Adidas and Mini Cooper families
A BIKE-SHARING start-up has won backing from Adidas heir Horst Bente and the family behind the Mini Cooper in a new £1.7m funding round, amid a scramble to benefit from sweeping changes to transport habits.
Buzzbike gives customers a bicycle to use for £29.99 per month and hopes to benefit from a major shift in commuting triggered by the coronavirus pandemic. Sales jumped more than fourfold between February and May, peaking after the Government announced a £2bn package to support cycling with more bike-only areas.
Mr Bente, one of the grandchildren of Adidas founder Adi Dassler, backed the start-up after it took part in his sports tech accelerator scheme leAD. It was also supported by three members of the Cooper family, including Mini co-creator John Cooper’s son Mike.
Other investors in the new funding round include the Future Fund – the Government’s emergency scheme to back start-ups during the crisis – and Paddy Byng, chairman of folding bike company Brompton.
Buzzbike was founded in 2016 by former Apple employee Tom Hares and former KPMG consultant Andy Nunn.
The start-up now hopes to win over more corporate clients on top of existing customers including music streaming service Spotify.
Mr Hares, Buzzbike chief executive, said: “Covid-19 is driving seismic shifts in the way people move around cities. This is where Buzzbike can help. For key workers in the city, cycling has proved a safe way of getting around.
“We gave free bikes to NHS staff at the start of the crisis.
“Over the last few weeks, we’ve seen a record-breaking level of interest in our service. Our latest investment round will give us the means to invest into technology, product development, key hires and capability to scale to the demand we’re witnessing.”
The funding comes on the back of a £2bn investment package announced by the Government in May to incentivise more bike riding with pop-up bike lanes and safer junctions.
In London, plans to create new cycling routes are being fast-tracked following estimates from Transport for London of a tenfold increase in cycling around the capital post-lockdown.
The pandemic has deterred people from using public transport amid concerns about the increased risk of infection from close proximity with others.
At the start of Britain’s lockdown in March, the number of journeys on London’s underground network had plummeted by around 70pc.