HumanForest has raised £2.3 million at the close of its pre-series A funding round.
The company, founded by former-Cabify lead Agustin Guilisasti and backed by Cabify founders Juan de Antonio and Vicente Pascual, has announced the funding ahead of its launch in London this September.
HumanForest e-bikes operate a unique advertising-led revenue model, whereby consumers receive an advert from partners before and after using an e-bike. This allows customers to ride for free for ten minutes each day and costs £0.15 per minute thereafter.
HumanForest operates with zero emissions and estimates that its e-bikes will facilitate up to 7,000 rides and avoid almost four tonnes of CO2 from being emitted into London’s air every day. During last year’s trial, the company grew its number of users by 48% each week and avoided ten tonnes of CO2.
The company will announce a number of partnerships with brands that align with its sustainable values over the coming weeks ahead of the launch. Corporate partners last year included the Financial Times and Whole Foods Market. The HumanForest Board includes Vicente Pascual, Stefan Tilk (vice chairman and Group CEO of NEVS AB), Ignacio Gutierrez (head of Latin America at Cabify), Agustin Guilisasti (founder and CEO) and Caroline Seton (co-founder and head of growth).
“Securing this latest round of funding is another exciting milestone for us,” said Guilisasti. “We look forward to returning the show of faith from our investors with a successful launch and rapid customer acquisition. We are expecting to reach positive EBITDA after three months of truly green operations.
“Global shared transport, including micro-mobility, will outgrow ride-hailing by 2030 and the sector is expected to grow from $7.8bn to $480 billion. That is not surprising considering that over the past year, there has been an uptake in cycling as people seek sustainable and healthy transport options. London has a low ratio of shared vehicles compared to other global cities and with the capital opening up again, this is the perfect time for us to launch our e-bikes.”
Seton added: “This is an exciting moment in our growth story and, with this support, we are confident that we can become the largest and most popular operator in London. Recent data found that mixed gender founder teams are less likely to receive funding than all-male founders: for every £1 of VC investment in the UK, mixed-gender teams only receive 10p.
“However, our diverse team, unique business model and innovative technology have been rewarded by investors and this is just the first step in our plans for global expansion. We can’t wait for Londoners to use our e-bikes as the most affordable mobility option, to improve their health and wellbeing, and to protect the planet.”
Read the August issue of BikeBiz below: