Top new businesses of 2016: Buzzbike
The world’s first free urban cycling scheme
Founders: Tom Hares, Andy Nunn, and Dave Smith
Launched: October 2016
Buzzbike allows you to ride a high-quality single speed bike in London for free, and use it 24/7, but there’s a small catch… you have to ensure you cycle to work at least 12 days a month and street park your bike.
Said to be the first free urban cycling scheme of its kind, Buzzbike’s offering has the potential to help the capital’s cycling community grow and reduce traffic congestion and pollution in the process.
Buzzbike funds its bikes, which are made by the inventors of the Mini Cooper, by letting brands pay for bike sponsorship and have their messages promoted in targeted areas of the city.
Riders of the bikes get free insurance, accessories and servicing and Buzzbike can ensure that brands are promoted by tracking riders through an app which automatically connects to the rider’s phone; a win-win for cyclists and brands.
The brainchild of Andy Nunn, Dave Smith, and Tom Hares; who formerly worked as head of Apple’s advertising agency, Buzzbike officially launched in October with the goal to fill a gap in the £1bn outdoor advertising market.
Already, PayPal brand Braintree has signed up as a partner with a six-month pilot partnership of 200 bikes, while more than 270 investors backed the start-up in a pre-launch crowdfunding round in July of this year.
In 2017, Hares tells us that the business will be launching a further 1,500 bikes with new brand partners but plans don’t stop there – a global Buzzbike launch is set for 2018.