A Kickstarter has launched for a bike sharing service that describes itself as having the "sharing economy of AirBnB and simplicity of Uber."
Based around an app and connected rear wheel locking device – mountable to most bicycles – an AirDonkey user can search a city for cycle providers, which can range bike shops with a connected fleet, to individual users who have bought an AirDonkey kit and attached it to their unused bicycle.
When we raised with AirDonkey fears that some bikes on the street could be unsafe, AirDonkey’s Camilla Gilbro countered by explaining it’s run in a manner not too dissimilar to AirBnB.
"The renters have the first ten minutes of the rental in order to decide something is not working with the bike and return it. If they continue the session, they will need to agree that the bike is in good condition. In return, they will rate the bikes, and the bikes with low rating are likely to be taken less. Owners will be encouraged to obtain good ratings, as bikes with low ratings will appear lower on the list of rentals available."
The firm also suggested to BikeBiz that this presents an easy opportunity to get into bike rental for specialist stores or hotel owners, potentially even freeing up a use for unsold and stale stock in the former’s case.
"Bike shops can buy in bulk. They can buy at 450 DKK per unit at the moment, though we do not have a decision for post-Kickstarter campaign on their price point. If they’re keen to buy more than 5 Donkey kits, they can purchase that and then add further instructions at checkout. We already have several backers who have done this.
"We also have original Donkey bikes at very good prices for them – lower than the amounts on Kickstarter on the bicycles are possible for hub operators; for example 3,000 DKK including the lock. Partners are more than welcome to get in touch."
A kit comes with a signature Donkey lock, (accessible only with use of the app and subsequent user payment), frame stickers to identify the bike and weatherproof handlerbar mountable instructions on how to hire.
Donkey Republic has been testing the system on their own bikes in and around Copenhagen in 2015.
“We can see that it’s easy for people to use, that the technology we’ve built works and that’s really important,” says co-founder Jens Frandsen.
“Our goal was never to own bikes, it was to facilitate bike-sharing in an easier and more convenient way” says co-founder Alexander Frederiksen.
Details of buy ins, what happens in the case of theft or damage and much more interested reading is found on the Kickstarter page here.
This is the latest in a series of apps that cyclists can use to access bikes or bike mechanics in any given city.