Transforming Cargo and Tourism One E-Bike at a Time
With more than 2,000 bikes in operation across multiple territories, Moby Bikes has built a foundation that is ready to expand its offering to more cities and countries.
With its aim to reduce congestion and car usage in cities, Moby Bikes has made significant inroads since it was founded in 2019. With revenues of more than €4.2 million in 2022 and 2,000-plus e-bikes to its name, it is looking to grow that number to 20,000 e-bikes over the next five years.
While it initially commenced operations in the B2C market, the company is now focused on its B2B offering in Ireland, UK, Holland and Belgium, where delivery e-bike services and e-bike offerings to hotels are central to its growth plans, said Thomas O’Connell, chief executive of Moby Bikes.
“We thought about it as if e-bikes and Cargo e-bikes are the future vehicles for dense cities, then the rental or leasing of those vehicles should evolve in the same way as the car rental or car leasing industry,” he said.
After raising funds in March this year, it has spent the past six months growing the team and getting its core product offering correct and is now prepared to take the next steps in its expansion. One benefit of it having a solid core product offering is that much of its recent growth has been with existing customers to other geographic territories.
Partnerships with companies in Holland for its delivery bike business have led it to set up in Belgium, Poland and Croatia. For its hotel bike offering, one of its big aims is to expand further into the hotel industry more, having set up connections with both urban and rural hotels across Ireland and other territories like Strasbourg.
“Much like renting a car at the airport, in the future you will just go to the hotel you’re staying at and rent an e-bike,” he said. “As our cities evolve, you’ll see a lot more hotels having e-bikes.”
Moby has a unique technology that facilitates e-bike rental schemes at hotels which traditionally have been hard to implement, and they are excited to be entering a space that has almost no competition.
“In places like London, there’s also a big opportunity with Cargo e-bikes. For delivery vans, the cities are charging more for congestion charges and parking, so it’s starting to make more sense from an environmental and financial standpoint for countries to move towards Cargo e-bikes.”
One of the significant benefits of e-bikes is their range. Unlike a regular bike, you can travel long distances and be made more accessible for the average person. And unlike a car, it’s much easier to find parking around cities or the country.
As well as that, Moby Bikes has made substantial progress not only with city hotels but regional ones too, where e-bikes fit well in areas like Killarney in Co Kerry, which have long cycle lanes and scenic routes to travel.
To help it reach its current position, Moby Bikes has been working with Cantor Fitzgerald to develop its business plan and ambitions.
Having participated in the Employment and Investment Incentive Scheme (EIIS) space for over ten years, the EIIS forms an important product offering to its private client business. It is one of the few remaining investment schemes where individuals can claim tax relief against their income tax liability, said Conor McKeon, head of corporate finance at Cantor Fitzgerald Ireland.
Cantor Fitzgerald has assisted businesses from various industries in raising EIIS capital over the past ten years – including sectors such as renewable energy, food and beverage manufacturing, healthcare and ingredients.
“We see the EIIS as an important fundraising mechanism for early-stage, high-growth Irish businesses to raise alternative capital,” he explained. “We have assisted in raising more than €100 million in EIIS capital over the last ten years through 34 standalone investment schemes. Investors have been repaid circa €68 million in capital and received an average return on investment of 1.5 times money.
“We typically focus on working with early-stage, high-growth businesses that are seeking growth capital to expand the business over a five-year time horizon.
“It is not always smooth sailing. There are significant risks involved with investing in early-stage, high-growth businesses.
“Unfortunately, a number of businesses that raise EIIS capital fail to deliver on their original business plan and are required to pivot and/or seek additional funding. We continue to work with investee companies throughout the EIIS investment period with a view to maximising the investment return and facilitating an exit for the EIIS investors.”
McKeon added: “We believe EIIS is an attractive alternative investment class and should form part of an individual’s asset class allocation. EIIS offers investors an opportunity to invest in high growth potential Irish businesses, as part of a larger overall portfolio, with the benefit of providing an element of tax relief that can be offset against their investment.”
This article was featured in the Sunday Business Post on November 17th 2023 and was written by Quinton O’Reilly