Bike-Share Startup YoBike Announces 500,000 Fleet Increase , Unveils ‘Podium’ Bike-Share Platform
YoBike, the British bike-sharing phenomenon with operations across the United Kingdom, France, Ireland, Singapore and North America, has announced its most significant expansion plans to date. The company will deploy more than 500,000 bicycles in the next 12 months, alongside the launch of YoBike Podium—a revolutionary turnkey platform that provides a seamless means for partners to implement the company’s world-class product across the globe.
A combined software, hardware and support solution, YoBike Podium is now available to commercial and government operators internationally. It allows partners to rollout full-scale shared-cycling operations within weeks. “We believe Podium is a quantum leap for bike-sharing and public transport on an international scale,” says Michael Qian, YoBike Co-Founder & CEO. “As it stands, cities and commercial ventures are typically faced with leading the arduous, complex deployment of bike-sharing programs through multiple vendor partnerships. YoBike Podium offers a one-stop solution, at a time when bike-sharing is accelerating faster than ever,” says Qian.
Having launched in Bristol in early 2017 as the UK’s first dockless bicycle-share startup, YoBike currently boasts more than 20,000 rides per day in its owned and operated businesses. One year later, with the introduction of YoBike Podium, the business predicts it will have the capacity to produce and deploy more than 30,000 new bicycles every week. As a foundation partner for the Podium Platform YoBike formed a joint venture with French parking and mobility giant, INDIGO. Since December 2017, the group has launched in more than a dozen cities in France, receiving rave reviews by both the French press, and community leaders.
The group will launch in more than 50 additional cities in the next 12 months, meaning more than 500,000 new bicycles will be available to cycle commuters around the world. Under the branding of INDIGO ‘Weel’, the YoBike Podium Platform will expand next week to both Nice and Angers, France. With three additional YoBike Podium partnerships already agreed, partners can leverage the group’s supply chain, superior technology including its AI platform, research and development, operational expertise, and support services. Operators can choose to market their operations leveraging YoBike’s branding, or to deploy the platform as a white-label product, as with INDIGO Weel.
YoBike is a leader in implementing bike-sharing systems, heralded for its integration of SaaS Systems, Cellular Network Partnerships and Established Supply Chain. According to Qian, “There’s enormous competition in bike-sharing. As the UK’s first dockless bike-share startup, we believe that YoBike Podium will allow us to scale our network more rapidly than our competitors. Our partner’s unparalleled understanding of regional markets, combined with our best in class technology, is a winning formula.” YoBike’s dockless deployment costs dwarf that of existing docked solutions that many authorities and commercial operators have deployed, such as the CitiBike scheme in New York City, or London’s Santander Cycles Initiative. With minimal new infrastructure investment required,
YoBike Podium can be rapidly scaled to match consumer demand. The Podium Partnership model remedies concerns of dockless operators launching in jurisdictions with little care or consultation. “This has represented a significant roadblock for our international competitors, and has been a point of contention for legislators” says Qian, “YoBike Podium is not just about giving governments and commercial operators a share of the rapidly growing bike-share market, it’s also about providing a seat at the table to protect against competitive forces swamping communities with poor-quality, unwanted and unused bicycles”.
As individuals and governments commit to new environmental and wellness standards, YoBike sees limitless potential within the bike-share market. ‘Our owned and operated businesses have performed well beyond our expectations, at a time when we’ve seen significant growing pains and even withdrawals from some markets by our competitors. Needless to say, this experience has fueled our ambitious expansion plans’ says Qian.
The business is reporting significant interest from large-scale motor vehicle ride-share operators, and even bicycle retailers. ‘I think this is simply about commercial ventures acknowledging the consumer trend away from ownership, to on-demand transport models” says Qian. “YoBike continues to welcome a new generation of riders to cycling, while keeping communities at its heart. YoBike Podium signals a transformational era of expansion in the shared-mobility category.”
About YoBike & INDIGO
From humble beginnings, YoBike became the UK’s first dockless bicycle-share company, launching just 1000 bicycles in Bristol in February 2017. In a little over a year, the London headquartered company now boasts operations in four continents, traversing regions as diverse as Bristol to Singapore, Dublin to Southampton, South America, to continental Europe. Founded by Cambridge University graduate and former McKinsey consultant, Michael Qian, YoBike has been heralded by local community leaders to environmental advocates, and technology innovators. In the communities where it operates, YoBike has become part of the social fabric with community groups organising grassroots events such as YoBike hill-climb cycle races. Local events such as the Green Party Conference use the bicycles to ferry attendees to and from summits.
YoBikes have also become a fixture of the World Naked Bicycle Ride (with hygienic seat covers provided by the company), and the Bristol Balloon festival. YoBike’s software platform was the first in the category to debut comprehensive artificial intelligence. YoBike’s AI tools ensure bicycles are where riders need them. An incentive system that actively encourages YoBike users to redistribute bikes to areas of peak demand has optimised existing cycle infrastructure in communities, and helped to eliminate costly, less-environmentally friendly diesel redistribution vehicles, as is commonplace in the industry.
In 2017, YoBike launched a foundation partnership with French mobility giant INDIGO. The joint venture has resulted in the rollout of YoBike operations in more than a dozen cities across France. The company’s French launch has been met with overwhelmingly positive feedback from the press and community leaders alike in France. The success of the INDIGO venture heralds the announcement of ‘YoBike Podium’, widening the availability of the YoBike platform to commercial partners and governments across the globe. With the success of the INDIGO partnership exceeding the expectations of both companies, the joint venture has committed to an additional 500,000 bicycle deployments in the coming 12 months.
A full still and video press kit is available at YoBike.co.uk/pressimages