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I know, another 'AirBnB for X' startup, well.. yeah, but I havn't yet seen a good implementation yet of the sharing economy for bikes (at least in Europe) so thought this Copenhagen based startup was worthy of a post. AirDonkey lets you make money with your bike, renting it out to others in an AirBnb/Uber like manner. Using their smart lock you can basically turn your bike into a money making machine, whilst doing your bit for the planet also (+1). I like the use case here of using this when visiting new cities. I’m curious to hear more from @ahfrederiksen @erdemnino and @runekokholm on how they see this community developing, and how they plan to solve the challenge of gaining liquidity for the service?
@jasondainter - Could you link "More info" on this page to here: http://donkey.bike/bike-owners ? We have a lot more info now, and things are picking up, partly thanks to Product Hunt.. :)
maybe @bentossell can help with that?
Hey @camillagilbro @ahfrederiksen @erdemnino and @darita - can you tell us what the story is here? 🚴 Someone DM'ed me yesterday telling me they were using your service in Copenhagen this week!
@bentossell Hi Ben, we have been testing the whole platform in Copenhagen since April. This is to ensure we know what we are offering people and find out what elements need to be improved and changed. However the version we are running is a rough version and not as sexy and smoothe to operate as what we will be shipping if we reach our Kickstarter goal - so please support us ;) What do you think about airdonkey Ben? We have been getting some interesting feedback from people all over the world
@ahfrederiksen @bentossell Awesome. To be honest, in my hometown I'm not much of a bike person and tend to just walk to the places I need to get to. Maybe this initiative would change that, maybe not... When I was living in London the Boris Bikes that are available all over the city are really useful and easy to use. How would you position yourself against something like that?
@bentossell Yeah, one if the ideas is really that Airdonkey and all the people who become part of the community can help bicycles grow their influence in cities. So next time you are traveling you might choose a Donkey to explore the city you are visiting :) To start with Airdonkey is really focusing on being a great solution for travelers and visitors and will wait with focusing on commuters. In regards to Boris bikes and similar systems, we are a lot "lighter" and more flexible. Airdonkey does not require expensive docking stations that need building permits (and that needs to be moved as cities develop and traffic flows change). Our solution has the potential to expand a lot faster because it is not dependent on large subsidies and Airdonkey is financially sustainable and anyone can become a part of it and help it grow. Many of the large citybikes make most of their money on subsidies and add revenue and a very small part of it on the users. This means the user is not as important to them, meaning bad user experience. Most I have tried have cumbersome sign up processes and you have to do "station hopping" and can't be sure there is a free spot in the docking station you are headed to. With our solution you park wherever you want during the rental, and the sign-up and payment process is easy and quick like Uber. Crucially Airdonkey systems can be set up in medium sized cities, small cities and even pretty isolated areas - places where Santander and Barlcays would never pay to put bikes.
@ahfrederiksen @bentossell awesome! Cheers for so much detail - really helped make it clearer 😀
"To start with Airdonkey is really focusing on being a great solution for travelers and visitors and will wait with focusing on commuters." @ahfrederiksen what is your strategy to reach travelers? It's a very, very hard segment to reach given how scattered and infrequently they will be coming to a specific city.
Cool Idea!! I Love It +1 for trying to save the planet. Just one question, how do you solve the Helmet Problem? Should the person who is renting the Bike has to make his own arrangements?
@senthiljayaram2 Hi Senthil, that is a good point. We do not offer any solution for helmets at the moment. In many places a lot of people don't where helmets while biking, and the people we have been renting out to have not had a problem with the lack of helmets. But we have heard this point from a few, so could be interesting if we could find some simple way of getting people helmets. I have talked to some about this and it seems in many countries you have to have some kind of "protection" or cleaning between users to avoid spread of hair lice etc. Have you heard of anything that could do this or know of any start-ups developing something Senthil?
@ahfrederiksen Not really, but i'll definitely let you know if i across something
Great idea! It seems prices are competitive, too. I was in Copenhagen last month and paid about €8/day for a regular bike.
Hey @mikerubini, EUR 8 is a realllly good price for a bike in Copenhagen. Well done. Most hotels rent at EUR 20 per day, and even hostels no less than EUR 15. But with AirDonkey, we will let owners set the price. Because a bike with a baby seat may want to charge more, and a baby bike may be quite low-priced..
@erdemnino I always negotiate the price and I was able to make that kind of deal because I needed two bikes (for me and my father) for more than 1 day =) I know hotels rent them at a higher price and I think you are in a good direction. I also liked that you could have your bike delivered to you for an extra fee. Is this something you are considering implementing in your product?
@mikerubini @erdemnino Yes, we are looking at Uber to help us with bike relocation. Until we have partners though, bike owners will receive a service fee (penalty for the renter) for each km away from the drop-off location.
@erdemnino Cool! Thanks for the info! =)