Pedal Me, the London-based bike taxi and courier business, has smashed its latest crowdfunding target on the same day its latest call for investment went live earlier this week.
It’s the third time that the company, which accepts bookings primarily via its dedicated web app, has sought funding through the platform Crowdcube.
The first took place in October 2018 when it raised £352,580 in just a few days, beating its initial target of £150,000 on the opening day ahead of a launch party for the funding drive that evening.
> Pedal Me hit £150,000 Crowdcube investment target – on day of launch party for crowdfunding drive
A further £421,330 was raised in 20129 through a second round of funding on Crowdcube, and the latest campaign went live on the platform on Tuesday.
The initial target of £150,000 was swiftly reached, and with a stretch target of £500,000 now in place, almost £370,000 has been raised at the time of writing.
The company now has 50 staff and a fleet of 52 bespoke Urban Arrow electric cargo bikes, which with their pink-clad riders are a regular sight on London’s streets, whether ferrying passengers or goods around – and even undertaking house or office moves.
As with most other businesses, the COVID-19 pandemic has hit the company’s bottom line, but Pedal Me is confident that it can reap the rewards as London starts to emerge from the crisis.
In a video accompanying the latest Crowdcube pitch, co-founder and CEO Ben Knowles says: “This is Pedal Me. We run unique, high-tech cargo bikes made exclusively for us by Urban Arrow.
“These are ridden by trained and tested employees, we carry both people and goods all over London, and we’re here to remove motor vehicle journeys wherever possible.
“Most jobs in cities we can do faster, cheaper and more reliably than any alternative. Our bikes carry as much as a small van and yet completely avoid the congestion caused by them.
“We started with two people riding part-time in 2017, now we have 50, all employed, all paid fairly, no gig economy.
“We are pioneering. We are demonstrating the real potential of cargo bikes and we’re not just using them to beat vans and taxis at their own game – we’re completely changing the rules.
“Logistics companies globally are now trying to use cargo bikes – they have to – but they can’t do it anywhere near as well as us, and we’re only just getting started.
“Now is our moment, and the opportunity is vast. As London reopens we will need to go flat out to keep up with that demand and grab as much of that £1 billion market share as we can, continuing to flourish.
“More bikes and more staff gives us more scale and makes us increasingly more efficient.
“That, backed by the tech efficiencies augmenting those scale efficiencies will make us fly,” he added, inviting potential investors to “join us on our mission to reshape our cities and our future.”
The company is already putting its latest investment to use, confirming on Twitter that it has ordered a further 10 bikes as well as bringing forward the recruitment of a developer to join its team (the job spec can be found here).
While Pedal Me’s fundraising drives on Crowdcube have proved phenomenally successful, one early attempt to secure backing did not go so well.
In an episode of the BBC show Dragons’ Den that was filmed before the company’s 2018 Crowdcube debut, but which only aired in January 2019, Pedal Me’s plans were dismissed as “delusional” by fashion mogul Touker Suleyman.
More than two years on, that looks very much like a case of one that got away.
> Pedal Me called ‘delusional’ on Dragon’s Den
Or maybe a public call for mandatory pedestrian helmets (inside and outside use) - if it saves one life...
I bought this light after reading this review and it worked well for 2 or 3 months. I started to experience problems with the light running low...
Keep going, User - no such thing as 'no going back'! . Don't let the Bike Fascists silence you. .
Stumbled across this on fb https://www.facebook.com/photo?fbid=227313639813797&set=a.124485700096592...
It says she took up the sport aged 40 - six years ago - but I haven't been able to google how long ago she transitioned.
imagine my disappointment when I read "Drivers 'over the moon' with Bridgnorth Cliff Railway repair work finally set to start" I thought for one...
As a Marxist/Leninist/Fascist/Neo-contrapuntalist, I wish to complain at your cancel culture.
But it rather depends on identifiying the suspect, and how would they do that?
No worries. In NFBUK world shared paths will be banned, so that goes away and you are back in the road .