Why we invested: Bike Club
Jake Levy, Senior Investment Manager, Snowball
Fri 1 December 2023
One of our private equity managers, Circularity Capital, invests in circular economy companies where sustainability gives them a competitive advantage. Alongside a clear environmental imperative to reduce virgin product production and waste, the economic benefits of circular models are often characterised by stable margins, higher quality earnings, stickier customer relationships and strong growth trajectories.
Bike Club was founded in 2016 by Alexandra Rico-Lloyd and James Symes. At first they rented out bikes to family and friends as they bootstrapped the business. They were overwhelmed with orders and the club came into its own in 2020 as family cycling grew in popularity.
In 2022 Circularity Capital, came aboard allowing Bike Club Germany to launch in October 2022. Finally in 2023 Bike Club was able to announce that it was officially B-Corp certified, solidifying its position as a sustainable business.
With already over 50,000 members, Bike Club has become one of the world's largest bike rental networks, connecting sustainability-minded consumers.
Bike Club is revolutionising the children’s bicycling industry by offering families the chance to subscribe to new or refurbished bikes and scooters online and then exchange them as their child grows.
Most bicycles today suffer from utilisation rates far lower than their useful product life, because children outgrow them quickly; and whilst second-hand markets exist today, using them requires time commitments and know-how, and the majority of children’s bicycles are still sold new. Bike Club – by renting, refurbishing to a high standard, and re-renting bicycles ensures high quality bicycles are used across a number of children, thereby reducing the demand for virgin manufacturing.
For parents, Bike Club offers high quality products at affordable monthly prices. The business only partners with the highest quality children’s bicycle brands, whilst ensuring the total cost of ownership is lower than a purchase. And Bike Club makes it easy for parents to swap models, as a child moves from one size to the next.
Each Bike Club bike saves 336Kg CO2 vs an owned bike.
At Snowball, we love the vision to make cycling even more affordable and sustainable.