We created a technology-driven system that makes it easy to implement local bike-sharing schemes in cities across Europe, with minimal investment needed and a profitable business model for entrepreneurs who manage operations locally.
Mobile app + electronic bike lock
The Donkey Republic bike-share system is enabled by the communication between a mobile app and an electronic ring lock that can be placed on any bike. No other infrastructure is needed to make bikes available for rental, only a computerized fleet management system that helps you monitor and grow your business.
Hub-centric distribution model
The hub-centric model uses designated parking locations for the pick-up and drop-off of rentable bikes.
How a hub works:
- it’s defined through GPS coordinates in our system
- it has a radius within which bikes can be parked (e.g. 10m around a point)
- it can have a limited capacity
- users can only end their rental in available hubs.
Serving multiple rider types
Bike-share users come in different shapes, sizes and needs, and our system serves them all:
- Residents / regular riders – with different membership plans based on frequency of usage.
- Visitors / occasional users – with features such as group booking, the possibility to keep the bike for their entire visit, discounts offered through affiliate deals etc.
Keeping the bike
A Donkey bike can be locked multiple times during a longer rental, so a visitor can have it for their entire stay or a day-long city tour, and the local commuter can count on it to be waiting when they get out of work / the supermarket / the cinema. It’s a convenient middle way between bike ownership and pure bike sharing.
Our business model, unique in the bike share industry, is defined by the close collaboration with local bike owners in each city we expand to. The agreement between Donkey Republic and a local bike owner is similar to a franchise or a joint venture, depending on the conditions agreed on in terms of ownership, investment and responsibilities.
We are currently focusing on owners who can start their operation with at least 200 bikes and steadily grow based on demand, bike utilization, initial returns and subsequent investment.
The local company owns the bikes and electronic locks, and is responsible for the distribution and maintenance of their fleet, as well as local marketing efforts, while Donkey Republic is responsible for the constant development and improvement of the software for locks, apps used to operate the locks, the online admin dashboard, data analysis, online marketing and acquisition operations and customer support.
Both Donkey bikes and locks can be bought through convenient purchase agreements with Donkey Republic. Alternatively, if you already have a bike fleet you can turn into Donkey bikes, you only need to buy the locks and complementary Donkey kits.
As a Donkey Republic bike owner, you get access to an online fleet management system, an extensive resource base with best practices and data analytics to help your bike share business grow, a global network of other bike owners to share know-how and learnings with, and – most importantly – daily support from the core Donkey Republic team in carrying out your strategy for expansion, fleet maintenance, affiliate acquisition and local marketing.
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