Meet Motto, a new French startup planning to bring e-bikes to Paris. Instead of buying these bikes, Motto customers will be able to rent them for a fixed price of €75 per month (about $82 at the current exchange rate).
Customers get Motto-branded e-bikes with a motor in the rear wheel that helps you pedal up to a speed of 25 km/h. It has built-in lights, a GPS tracker and an anti-theft system. It has a carbon belt and the battery is removable.
The battery is integrated into the seat tube, which means you can access the battery by removing the saddle and taking it with you. There are two different models, a stepper model and a low stepper model. The frame is slightly different but everything else is the same.
But Motto doesn’t want to stop at hardware. Users don’t just rent a bike, they subscribe to a service. The monthly subscription includes damage and theft insurance, as well as maintenance and repairs on demand.
If there’s a problem with your Motto bike, you can open the app and request a repair within 48 hours. In the near future, Motto plans to offer a baby carrier and a front rack as an addition to the subscription.
The startup raised a $4.4 million (4 million euros) funding round led by Cassius Family and Founders Future. Several business angels also participate. Before becoming Motto, the startup was originally called Bloom, and 200 users have already tested the service in Paris.
And everyone will be able to sign up and get a bike from April 2022. The startup will compete with other bike subscription services, such as German startup Dance, Dutch company Swapfiets, and funded service by the Véligo State.
More importantly, the startup competes with public transport, bike-sharing systems, and buying your own e-bike. The bike-as-a-service model offers many benefits.
First of all, you don’t have to pay a large amount of money upfront. Second, many bike owners don’t want to buy an e-bike because of theft. Third, many people want to make sure they can actually use a bike to get around before buying one.
For all of these reasons, it’s good to see that bike-as-a-service is another great option for getting started with bikes. I still believe that we are at the very beginning of the urban mobility revolution and that people will eventually use different modes of transport to get from point A to point B, especially in European cities. And many people should consider services like Motto to add an e-bike to their personal transportation mix.