The bike-share business

Business Overview

It is in our direct interest that each owner’s business thrives. Together, we are building a global brand that all bike owners benefit from, but can also influence.

There are 2 main types of collaborations we have with bike owners, based on the ownership of the local bike-share business:

1. Shared ownership

This is a joint venture model where Donkey Republic and the bike owner establish a local company based on shared ownership and investment from both bike owner and Donkey Republic (generally 50/50). We expect that the bike owner can provide at least €100.000 as initial investment. Donkey Republic and the bike owner are equally responsible for the development of a strategy for expansion, fleet maintenance, affiliate acquisition and local marketing.

2. Full ownership

The bike owner owns manages their local business independently, provided that they meet agreed standards and regulations regarding pricing, distribution, bike maintenance etc.

Revenue split

Independent of the ownership of the operation, the revenue split between the bike owner and Donkey Republic is 80/20, unless both parties agree on different temporary terms in base of a bike financing scheme.

Pricing models

The bike owner and Donkey Republic agree on pricing levels to make their offering both accessible and profitable based on specific use cases:

1. Casual Use – mainly tourists

People visiting your city / destination usually rent a bike for one or more days. For that reason, we recommend a convenient daily rental price which encourages riders to keep a bike for longer. The average price for a daily rental across our available cities is €12, but it can vary based on demand, competition, seasonality, bike availability etc. Here’s an example of typical pricing offer for tourists.

2. Regular use – mainly local residents

You can structure special packages that offer reduced rental rates for locals who rent with higher frequency, so your city bike-share operation becomes attractive to regular users, and can bring you constant revenue over a longer period of time. Here’s an example of membership packages for locals.


Donkey Republic is one single global brand with a cohesive identity used across markets. On a communication level, there are no sub-brands (e.g. Donkey Republic Hamburg) and no separate channels for contact (e.g. local app, website, Facebook brand page, customer support line  etc.).

The power of a global brand is that it builds stronger awareness across many cities, which you then benefit from. A user who rented a Donkey bike in Copenhagen and travels to your city, being already familiar with the brand and the concept, will be inclined to use the service again, which directly profits your business.


All shared bikes available through the Donkey Republic system must be branded and use the agreed signage, design and messages. Co-branding collaborations can be developed locally in specific cases.

We work together on developing global and local brand communication. Our team offers expertise and resources to develop the local presence of Donkey Republic, but at the same time get great value out of the involvement and suggestions of local bike owners. We often organise marketing campaigns – online and offline – with the help of bike owners’ local networks, insight and resources.


Through all our marketing efforts we aim to increase and optimise user acquisition, as well as build awareness for the Donkey Republic brand. To achieve that we work with:

  • Google adwords
  • Facebook ads
  • Offline marketing materials and street marketing
  • Website communication towards different stakeholders
  • Email marketing
  • Public relations
  • Local engagement and promotional campaigns
  • New app features
  • SEO
  • Influencer Marketing
  • Collaboration with local and global travel platforms
  • Collaboration with local and global marketing affiliates
  • Association with local communities and organisations
  • Social media engagement (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)

For local direct marketing efforts, we split the costs between Donkey Republic and the bike owner whose operation benefits from the marketing efforts.

User feedback and engagement on Google Maps and Facebook

Our global social media channels: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn.

Financial Planning

Every business is there to make money and to make sure yours does, you need to take into account some operational costs:

Management & operations

To start with, you need to consider hiring at least one full-time employee to manage your operation and oversee the maintenance of the bike fleet.

Business development

We advise budgeting one full-time employee to develop promotional, affiliate marketing and sales efforts.


For an efficient operation, one mechanic is needed to service 300 Donkey Bikes. Besides the cost of human resources, the maintenance of 1 bike costs cca. €2,5 EUR/per month.

Ready to start your Donkey Republic bike-share operation?