After electric vehicles, bicycle subscriptions have now started contributing to more liveable, car-free inner cities. In a recent development, Amsterdam-based Swapfiets, which claims to be the world’s first ‘bicycle as a service’ company, has announced to further expand its services in Europe.
The company has recently launched in Barcelona (Spain) and is planning to introduce the bike membership with free repairs in Lyon, Nantes, Strasbourg, and Toulouse in France and Vienna in Austria by the end of April 2021.
World’s first ‘bicycle as a service’ startup
The Dutch bicycle subscription company was founded in 2014 by Martijn Obers, Steven Uitentuis, Dirk Bruijn, and Richard Burger. The company is currently led by CEO Marc de Vries.
Also, we found out according to the LinkedIn profile that Steven Uitentuis left Swapfiets back in February 2020, and is currently working as a venture director at Ponooc – a company that invests in a sustainable future.
Coming back to Swapfiets, it is on a mission to lead the movement to more liveable cities, that are greener, healthier, safer, and more social for everyone. The concept of Swapfiets is quite simple: for a monthly subscription fee, Swapfiets members receive a fully functional bicycle or e-mobility solution for their own use. If needed, a repair service is available within 48 hours to repair or directly swap the two-wheeler at no additional cost.
While keeping its focus on bicycles, Swapfiets also offers innovative e-powered products, such as the foldable Swapfiets e-Kick, that helps to bridge the first and last mile when using public transportation. Swapfiets Power 7 – helps the increasing demand for e-Bikes for faster and easier longer-distance travels between urban and suburban areas. Furthermore, e-Scoot, designed and produced by NIU, is part of Swapfiets’ product portfolio and available in selected cities.
The expansion plan
The move couldn’t have come at a better time for Swapfiets as in recent years, cities have invested heavily in bicycle infrastructure, and amid the pandemic, the investment has accelerated in the micro-mobility sector across Europe.
According to the company, environmental pollution resulting from increasing traffic density and congestion continues to challenge cities throughout the world. This is where Swapfiets wants to leave its mark. The company believes bicycles are the most efficient, sustainable, and ecologically friendly transportation solution for individuals in big cities.
The scale-up claims to have developed so quickly in Europe that it has a total of over 220,000 members in the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, France, and Italy in September 2020.
Marc de Vries, CEO of Swapfiets, says, “We are very excited to further expand in Europe to such great cities as Barcelona and Vienna, where people are cycling more and more, as well as using other forms of micro-mobility. We believe that with our hassle-free bike membership we can truly contribute to making these cities more liveable.”
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