5 E-Bike Startups for On-Demand Delivery Fleets
The on-demand delivery industry is buzzing, with more than half of Americans having meals delivered in just the past year. In metropolitan areas, that figure is even higher. Companies like DoorDash, Postmates, and Uber Eats are battling for market share and searching for a competitive advantage to get more deliveries to doorsteps on time.
With the vast majority of last-mile deliveries arriving by bike, a new breed of e-bike startups has cropped up to serve the industry. Startups like GetHenry, Ubco ,and Joco are supplying e-bike fleets to on-demand delivery startups through a subscription model. Logistics companies are finally understanding the need for reliable bike fleets that can scale up or down based on real-time demand, and the need for e-bikes has never been greater.
Global e-bike sales are expected to reach $36.5 billion for the year, according to an analysis by Business Research, but the bulk of those sales are happening outside the consumer market. In urban environments, e-bikes are powering the last-mile delivery economy. Bikes are faster than vans on crowded city streets, they’re easier to park, and they’re usually cheaper, too.
Here are five startups serving the market as e-bike suppliers for on-demand delivery companies.
GetHenry supplies e-bike fleets to on-demand delivery companies like Gorillas, Flink and JustEatTakeaway.com. GetHenry manufactures its own bikes, which allows the company to maintain full control over costs and suppliers. In addition to selling fleets to delivery companies, GetHenry also offers a subscription service that includes round-the-clock maintenance and real-time data on the status of all e-bikes. Bikes are built to handle 80 kilometers per day. While the company operates in Germany, Austria, Italy, and France, it has plans to move into the U.K., Spain, and the Netherlands within the next two quarters.
After launching as a docked e-bike delivery service in New York City last year, Joco pivoted away from consumers. Now, the company serves the last-mile delivery market by renting bikes to gig economy workers at daily or weekly rates and providing charging stations where gig workers can park their bikes each night. Joco removes the hassle of owning, storing, charging, locking and maintaining bikes for gig workers. The company also has enterprise customers that pay for dedicated fleets of electric bikes, like the 15-minute grocery delivery service Jokr. In addition to New York, the company operates in Chicago and has plans to expand to Boston, Washington, DC, and Miami.
Zoomo is an Australian company that builds its own e-bikes and offers them as a weekly subscription solution for gig workers, or as a fleet service. Gig workers can choose to lease bikes on a part-time or full-time basis, and they’re responsible for taking bikes home, charging them, and calling Zoomo for any needed servicing or maintenance. Subscriptions include 24/7 bike access, as well as free servicing, repairs, and online customer support through an online rider hub. Zoomo’s gig worker subscription plan starts at $35 per week, however couriers who work with DoorDash and Uber Eats can get special pricing. Zoomo also sells fleet management software for enterprise companies, including DHL.
UBCO is a New Zealand-based startup with a commercial subscription e-bike business. The company produces two versions of a 145 lb. utility bike, designed to meet the needs of gig economy workers and fleet enterprise customers. UBCO’s bikes are built on an “intelligent platform” with cloud connectivity and data analysis, allowing the subscription model to work with fleet management software. One of the company’s clients is Domino’s Pizza.
ACTON designs electric mobility vehicles and cloud-based software to run shared fleets. The company’s Nexus fleet e-bikes are built for cargo delivery, with an accessory rack that can be added to handle 50 lbs. of groceries, food, and other delivery items. ACTON partners with on-demand delivery startups, like Buyk, along with hundreds of cities worldwide to offer cloud-based tools for managing e-bike fleets and docking stations. The company’s software and connected hardware solutions are designed to reduce carbon footprints and make large-scale delivery operations more efficient and sustainable.
Stephanie Miles is a senior editor at Street Fight.