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Would you rent out your bike? Danish firm looking to raise funds for Uber-style cycle hire business (+ video)

AirDonkey is a platform to share your bike and earn money from it

A Copenhagen-based start-up is looking to raise funds for a new bike hire mobile app. Similar to Uber, the basic premise of AirDonkey is that it will allow people with spare or little-used bikes to share them and earn money by doing so.

The Guardian reports that the firm behind the project, Donkey Republic, have successfully tested the system around Copenhagen. The next step involves looking to raise about €100,000 of funding via Kickstarter.

“You could see it as a Scandinavian reply to the American way of doing things with Uber,” said co-founder Erdem Ovacik. “Of course, these are very ambitious words. But that’s the vision.”

AirDonkey concept video from Donkey Republic on Vimeo.

Before a bike can be made available for hire, it must be ‘donkified’, which is expected to cost around €80. For that, you get a special rear-wheel lock, an information panel which you affix to the handlebars, stickers marking the bike and a listing on the website.

The website keeps a track of available bikes’ locations via the lock and users can then release them via the mobile phone app. The firm envisages a daily rental charge of about €10 in places like London and Copenhagen.

The idea is similar to existing rental scheme, Splinister, which differs from AirDonkey in that bikes are collected from and returned to their owners rather than being left out on the street. The challenge for both projects may be to get enough people involved that bikes will be readily available for those using the app.

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

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