The COVID-19 pandemic has radically changed what was once considered normal up until December 2019, profoundly transforming the way everything functions.
Among others, the transport sector endured a significant impact from the pandemic. Various factors including, social distancing, anxiety over public transportation, and many more, have disrupted personal mobility.
This change indeed has given rise to a dramatic increase in the adoption of bicycles – an unprecedented mini-bicycle boom. Riding a bike has emerged as one of the hottest trends owing to the increasing focus of people to stay active and avoid public transport.
The market witnessed a notable spike in sales following the easing of COVID-19-related lockdowns and restrictions across countries, says the report.
The Viennese startup Bikemap, whose app usage tripled in the year 2020, also benefits from this trend.
Raised funding in Series A
Recently, the Austrian startup has secured fresh capital from Dutch investor Ponooc in Series A financing. Although the company didn’t disclose the exact figures, according to the press release, Bikemap has “raised millions” from Ponooc.
Based out of Amsterdam, Ponooc, an independent investment arm of Pon Holdings, is a €140M venture capital fund with a focus on sustainable energy or mobility-related ventures. The VC has invested in companies such as Swapfiets (the world’s first bicycle subscription service), Tranzer, Yego, and Check.
Bikemap will use the fresh capital for product development and scaling of the team. The Vienna-based company currently employs around 30 people.
Largest bike route collection
Founded by Christof Hinterplattner, Matthias Natmessnig, and Peter Eich in 2014, Bikemap is the largest user-generated bike route collection in the world to date. Bikemap helps users find the best cycling route from A to B – every time.
Available on both Android and iOS, the app offers map and navigation software for different types of bikes and levels of ambition.
It also provides other functionalities like personalised route recommendations, locations of repair shops, and parking spaces. Users will get more exclusive features including offline functions on the premium version, says the company.
At present, the app offers more than 7.6M routes in over 100 countries created by 5.1M users.
Matthias Natmessnig, CEO of Bikemap, comments: “With Bikemap, cyclists around the world can find the most suitable route for their tour. Unlike more generally designed apps like Google Maps, our routes are specifically tailored to the needs of different types of cyclists. At the same time, all Bikemapers benefit from our strong community of over five million users who share new routes, recommendations – such as workshops or rest stops – or obstacles for more safety on a daily basis.”
“In the long term, we want to use this mix to make cycling better and safer. With Ponooc, we have a partner at our side who not only understands this approach but is also joining us on the path to a more sustainable future at the same time,” he adds.