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Beeline launches £800,000 crowdfunded investment drive to fund next stage of expansion

London-based GPS navigation firm which aims to give users safe and enjoyable routes launched its Velo 2 device last month

Beeline, the London-based company whose routing and navigation devices are aimed at cyclists and motorcyclists, is aiming to raise £800,000 in crowdfunded investment to help fund the next stage of its growth.

Founded in 2015, the business last month launched its Velo 2 GPS cycling computer, development of which was financed by a successful campaign on Kickstarter which raised more than $400,000 (£230,000) from 5,000 backers.

> Beeline launches Velo 2 cycle computer with improved route planning

Its latest crowdfunding campaign has been opened today to the public on the Seedrs platform, with 90 per cent of the £800,000 target already raised from existing shareholders and new angel investors, the company says.

According to Beeline, the money will be used to expand its product range and move into new markets as well as continuing to develop its navigation technology which is aimed at providing users, with on bicycles, motorbikes or e-scooters, with safe and enjoyable journeys.

In its pitch on Seedrs, the company highlights the three revenue streams it is targeting – business-to-consumer, through its Velo and Moto devices, business-to-business through integrated navigation services, currently used by e-scooter hire firm Tier and with discussions under way with other operators, and app subscriptions, “planned to launch within the next year.”

Mark Jenner, who co-founded the business with Tom Putnam, said: ‘’This is an incredibly exciting time for all of us at Beeline. We’re delighted with the reception of the Beeline Velo 2, and are already seeing lots of people enjoying routes using it.

‘’We’ve got a real opportunity now with this crowdfunding campaign, to further invest in the technology that we believe will make cycling more accessible and enjoyable to more people.

‘’If our mission resonates with you, then now is a great time to be involved and invest in Beeline.’’

Launching the product last month, Beeline said: “The Velo 2 makes it even easier to navigate and follow turn instructions than its predecessor thanks to a completely new and improved navigation interface. The simplified navigation allows both new and experienced riders to feel confident in following a safe route.

“In order to provide the best possible routes for their users, Beeline gathers several types of data from Beeline rides, as well as bringing together the most relevant external information from the open mapping community (OpenStreetMap).

“During the ride, users can simply press the rating buttons at any point of their journey to indicate if they’re having a positive or negative experience. These Beeline Road Ratings then feed directly into Beeline’s routing algorithm to adapt and improve future routes. The more users and the more feedback, the better the routes become.”

2022 Beeline Velo 2 - 2.jpeg

The Strava-compatible device provides a choice of three routes – fast, slow, or a mix of both – once the destination has been inputted, which as our technical editor Mat Brett pointed out is also a feature found on Garmin’s GPS units, and users can also devise their own routes using Compass Mode.

Retailing at £79.99, and controlled via a smarthone app, it also provides details including speed, distance travelled and distance remaining to destination plus and estimated time of arrival there.

The weathersealed device attaches to the handlebars via a twist-lock mount, and is charged via a USB-C port, with the battery said to last for more than 10 hours.

We’re currently testing Beeline’s Velo 2 device, so look out for our review here on soon.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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IanMSpencer | 1 year ago
1 like

I use but never rely on turn by turn guidance on a Garmin because I can't rely on the underlying mapping being coded properly.

Back in the day I contributed a fair bit to OSM and the big problem was in correctly connecting roads. You might have a minor road going straight across a major road but because the minor road has the same name but the major ones have different names, someone draws the minor road as one continuous road. As the minor road then does not have a junction in it, it will not trigger a straight on guide. There are other situations where the mapping will look correct but present differently to the navigation algorithm.

So basically, with current mapping, it is not at a quality where you can rely on just turn indicators not seeing the underlying map, and I always have the map page when navigating, not relying on the pop up.

So though they seem a nice idea, mapless turn guidance just doesn't seem trustworthy enough. I'll be interested how the reviewer gets on.

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