Buzzbike backed by Adi­das and Mini Cooper fam­i­lies

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Business - By James Cook

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.