Bicycle start-up: Upperbike
A rental platform for everyone to rent and hire out bicycles on. Or in brief: Airbnb for bicycles. That’s Upperbike
As is so often the case with great ideas, the concept of Upperbike is incredibly simple. The start-up from Berlin provides users with an online platform that they can hire out their bicycles on or that other cyclists can use to rent them. Airbnb for bicycles, as it were. Sounds simple. Sound great. It was high time that somebody did this.
The right bike
Upperbike popped into the mind of Felix Möller last year. He describes himself as more of an everyday cyclist than a bicycle expert. The motivation behind Upperbike emerged out of pure self-interest. “I sometimes wanted a different bike for an excursion or a transport bike for larger chores,” explains the online entrepreneur and current managing director of the start-up. Sharing rather than owning is the idea behind the platform. You don’t need to have dozens of bikes in the basement, but simply rent the right bike to suit the occasion.
First Berlin, then the whole of Germany
Upperbike recently broke through the 100 bicycle mark. Trend: sharply upwards. Just over 200 users are registered, most of them in the founding city of Upperbike: Berlin. The goal of the team of five is to expand the platform right across Germany’s urban centres. Those searching for a rental bike can currently choose from several offers in Berlin, Hamburg and Vienna.
How Upperbike works
Internet users will quickly get to grips with the Upperbike system. After registering for free, renters and hirers are introduced to one another by means of a user profile. The party hiring out the bike sets the price themselves – between 5 and 25 euro per day is normal. The renter pays a deposit by way of security. If the rental works out, 20% of the turnover is passed to Upperbike as commission. The party hiring out the bike is responsible for ensuring it is in perfect condition (and provides insurance if required). Online evaluations help users to choose the right contacts. What makes the platform so special compared to normal bike rental options? The variety of bikes on offer. Folding bikes are available, as are e-bikes, city bikes and cargo bikes. For extravagant excursions, there is a singlespeed with bamboo frame or a Pedersen T-model.
No, Upperbike is not without competition. There are multiple “bicycle contact exchanges” such as Velogistics (cargo bikes) or Spinlister (bike, surf, board). Which offer (or offers) wins the race will only become apparent in a similar way that happened with pooling platforms. Upperbike is clear and simple to use – perhaps its decisive advantage.
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