BikeBiz catches up with Mark Jenner, co-founder of Beeline
Can you give us a little background on Beeline?
Beeline is a London based start-up that aims to solve the problem of navigation for bikes. We started out as two frustrated London cyclists wanting to solve our own navigation problem. Four years on, we’re now a jolly team of 12 designing, building and marketing our products and services to both individual cyclists and motorcyclists, and also companies operating in that field.
How and when did the idea come about?
Back in 2015, myself and Tom met for lunch to throw around some business ideas… I got lost cycling there and was very late for lunch. That started a conversation about how you could make cycling around London easier, and the rest is history!
What is the brand’s vision?
The world is getting more urbanised, cities are getting more crowded, and we’re all realising that we need to take better care of our environment. We strongly believe that bikes could, and should, form a critical part of the solution to these issues. Our mission is to build navigation technology that materially reduces barriers to people choosing to travel on two-wheels, by making their journeys safer, easier, and more fun.
What has the reaction been since entering the market?
We started on Kickstarter and, from the beginning, were blown away by the enthusiasm and support for what we wanted to do. Our customers have been really engaged and vocal about what works and what doesn’t, which is really great for any company – thoughtful feedback is pure gold! As a direct result of this community support we’ve been able to keep evolving and improving our software, and our sales and reviews continue to go from strength to strength.
How does your product differ to what is already out there?
Lots of bike tech is focused on sport riding, but our approach is much more mainstream, for any kind of bike user. We focus on a really simple, slick user-friendliness that works for anyone, whether you ride a carbon racer, a Brompton, or a rusty old basket bike. We don’t worry about too many performance metrics, we just worry about making sure you have a safe, easy, fun ride.
What are your plans for 2020 and beyond?
We’ve got some top secret new cycling products in the pipeline that you’ll get a peek of in the first half of next year. We’ve also been hard at work building a routing engine based on the feedback on our user community, and have some really interesting data insights to share with the cycling community in the new year. The new routing will start rolling out to our users in the UK from early 2020. Finally, we’ve got some partnerships brewing with both bike share and bike manufacturers, integrating some of our technology into their products. It’s going to be a busy year!