This Dutch startup offers an alternative to owning a bike through Netflix-like subscription model

This Dutch startup offers an alternative to owning a bike through Netflix-like subscription model

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Pedalling two-wheeler to your work or college can be fun. Each and every one of us learned to ride it as kids and for the people living in the Netherlands, it has been an intricate part of their entire life. In fact, biking is considered one of the key element in building a pollution-free, flourishing and clean cities.

In the Netherlands, there are more bicycles than residents, especially in cities like Amsterdam and The Hague constituting to 70% of journeys. To make cycling fun, safer and compelling, the Dutch government have established a vast network of cycle paths. In a way to support this initiative, there are lots of companies present in the Netherlands to buy or rent bikes.

Swapfiets app introduced!

Swapfiets is one such startup that rents out bicycle on a subscription basis where you receive a decent bike for a fixed monthly amount. A short while ago the company launched its app on the Android and iOS platform with a slew of features.

With this app, customers can schedule an appointment within 20 seconds to have their bicycle repaired at home or in the store. If your bicycle is broken or stolen, you can schedule ‘swap’ in the app itself within five taps. Also, users can find the route to the nearest store where they can go with their cycling problems.

In addition to it, customers can also pin their bikes in the app so that they can easily retrieve the exact location of the bike. Having said that, the developers are planning to introduce more features in the app including chat function, tracking that allows you to follow the swapper as well.

Founded by three students from TU Delft, Richard Burger, Martijn Obers and Dirk de Bruijn, Swapfiets is expanding rapidly in and around the Netherlands with a growth percentage of 1600 over the past year with more than 27,500 customers. Meanwhile, the company got nominated for ‘Dutch Startup of the Year’ (NIMA) too. So what is the factors that constitute its success?

Netflix-like subscription model!

Swapfiets is all about getting a robust city bike for a fixed monthly fee of €15 (€12 for students) along with working light, theft insurance, double locks, and a support team at the end of a phone call.

It also comes with services like free repairs within 12 hours and replacement guarantee if it cannot be fixed within 15 minutes of arrival or is stolen. As per the company’s policy, the customer should never go more than 2 days without a bike even if it’s stolen.

Word of mouth marketing and hassle-free service

As per the company, 80% of the customers come through word of mouth marketing. Each and every cycle from Swapfiets sports a blue front wheels in an attempt to segregate themselves from others. This unique look is one of the crucial factors that contribute to the WOM apart from positive customer service.

This service seems to offer the appropriate solution for foreign students who want to have a bike without owning one or to those local students, who had their bike stolen or don’t want to use it for some reason.


Swapfiets are presently available in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany.

Dutch cities: Amsterdam, Arnhem, Breda, Delft, Den Bosch, The Hague, Eindhoven, Enschede, Groningen, Haarlem, Hengelo, Leeuwarden, Leiden, Maastricht, Nijmegen, Rotterdam, Tilburg, Utrecht, Zwolle.

Belgium: Leuven, Ghent and Antwerp.

Germany: Bremen, Göttingen, Münster and, Oldenburg.

Safer and comfortable cycling

In ties with Union Bicycles, Swapfeits offers bikes to their customers in optimal condition and makes sure it stays the same way during their subscription period. According to the company, each and every customer needs like servicing the full cycle, fixing tyre will respond with utmost care as the customer is king.

Stay tuned to Silicon Canals for more updates.


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