In this post we’ll checkout on How Does LimeBike Work.
LimeBike is an all new startup, that has raised close to USD $12 Million in its last venture funding. This round was led by venture capitalist Andreessen Horowitz and later joined by other venturists like IDG Ventures, DCM Ventures and a few others who do not want to reveal their identity.
The idea has been been sourced from China where companies like MoBike and Ofo have gone on to raise massive amounts of funding and thereon distributed many of their products (GPS enabled bikes) to the urban markets. One of the unique propositions of this movement is that, these bikes do not have to be retrieved and parked at a certain dock like most of the bike sharing programs in the US, like Citibike an initiative with Motivate Co in the city of New York.
LimeBike’s co-founders chairman Brad Bao and CEO Toby Sun said, that their main focus was on connecting and building strong links with the various cyclist communities across the country. The company based at San Mateo, California know that they are entering into a market that is easily one of the most crowded segments in the country. With competitors like Social Bicycles, Spin, Bluegogo and Zagster offering kiosk free bike sharing facilities, it sure is a roller coaster ride. Although to state the obvious, Motivate Co. being the domestic leaders in this segment, is still expanding its operations to numerous other states in the US.
LimeBike is unique in its own way. The majority of bike renting networks in the market have fixed docking stations. Setting up one of these stations would cost a city millions of dollars, just to operate on a day to day basis. Therefore the resulting outcome of this is that there are lesser stations which in turn leads to a limited number of bikes for riders at a higher price. Now that’s too much to handle, which is where LimeBike proposes a new alternative.
With LimeBike forget about docking stations, making more bikes available and educating users to park bikes at designated parking spots. These spots are identified by the company and marked accordingly in collaboration with the city. Thereby eliminating the whole concept of having a “station” itself. With this elimination, LimeBike hopes to create a system that is broad enough to support a large scale of bikes that are more accessible and affordable.
Where does LimeBike operate today?
Currently, LimeBike works in a number of cities across the U.S. to establish their first sharing programs. You can sign up for LimeBike’s distribution list and you will be notified when they launch near you.
How do I find a LimeBike near me?
If LimeBike’s services are available at your zipcode, you can simply download and open the app, view the map near you, and identify which bikes are around you.
How do I reserve a bike?
You can unlock a bike, but you cannot reserve a bike. LimeBikes work on first come, first basis. So if you find one parked next to you, it means it’s available!
How do I pay for my ride?
After you download the app, you will be asked to add a credit card to your account. That will allow you to have auto-payment set-up. LimeBike’s pricing is set very low and it charge you $1 for every 30 minutes of riding. To end your ride, simply lock your bike.
How do I end a ride?
First, you need to make sure you are parking in a proper parking spot. Free-floating bike systems will only work if we all take responsibility to park bikes in places that do not block traffic, use private property, or block pedestrians. Park at bike racks and areas where bikes are easy to see. Once you park, simply push down the lever on the rear wheel to lock the bike. As soon as you lock the bike, the app will end the ride and provide you with a trip summary.
For its first launch next month; April, LimeBike has designed bicycles with GPS and 3G connectivity. The bikes have tires that are foam core so you don’t have to worry about the risk of deflating, a large metal basket for carrying cargo, a on board solar panel and smart lock. Once done with the ride, park the bike on its centre kickstand, so riders don’t have to chain them up to streets signs or racks.
The startup works with outside manufacturers and vendors for components, but designed and assembled the bikes on their own. LimeBike has no immediate plans to sell the GPS-locatable bikes as a consumer product.
Easy to use & park
In just two taps, find a bike near you and start riding anywhere. No more searching for out-of-the-way bike parking stations that are blocks from your destination
With LimeBike, four quarters can take you pretty far. It’s been awhile since a dollar got you around town.
No more pay stations. With integrated payments you scan, ride, and pay without leaving the app.
Andreessen Horowitz partner Jeff Jordan said LimeBike’s trade knowledge impressed him. “There is extensive competitive interest in bike sharing. Nobody in this market will win on patents. It’s all about the execution.” An avid mountain biker himself, the investor said LimeBike is tapping into “mega trends” like urbanization, and a millennial view of transportation which is more about getting from A to B in the most convenient way possible, and less about car ownership than earlier generations.
So that’s mostly all about How Does LimeBike Work. Do share you thoughts and views in the comments section below.
Happy Safe Biking!