Paris : Gobee.bike, bikes in self-service, wants to compete with Vélib’




Alongside the Vélib’ gray, there will now be bikes neon green of Gobee.bike. After its launch last week in Lille, the startup landed on Monday in the capital and in the Hauts-de-Seine. Gobee.bike will have for a first time a fleet of 500 bikes, according to France Bleu – against at 1,800 stations and 20,000 bikes for Velib’. To stand out, the company relies on the flexibility of its offer. Its bikes are available in self-service, without terminal – a model similar to the Cityscoot. Thus, they can be borrowed and parked in any parking for bicycles. Consequence : in the absence of infrastructure, the deployment of Gobee.bike is done only at his own expense.

■ How does it work ?

The bikes are pinpointed on the application Gobee.bike, to see which ones are available in the area. A “QR code” is unique to unlock his bike at the time of reservation instant. To lock after use, simply lower manually a lock installed on the rear wheel. An alarm system and integrated sensors can detect unanticipated uses or even, spot the bicycles abandoned in the middle of the street, says The Figaro. Beyond the flexibility, the company claims that their bikes weigh 4 pounds less than the latest self-service models currently available in France.

■ How much does it cost ?

Gobee.bike works without a subscription. The cyclist must purchase credits in advance (5, 10 or 20 euros). The half-hour rental costs 50 cents and the deposit amounts to 50 euros. The vélib’ work for them by subscription, from 29 euros per year. The first 30 minutes of each journey are free of charge. The price then rises depending on the time of use, starting from 1 euro per extra half hour.

“We believe that the two systems are complementary,” says the Parisian Raphael Cohen, the founder and CEO, from Hong-Kong where he resides. “Yes, our offer is more expensive, but the service that we offer is more convenient : you don’t have to ask you if you can find a bike on your terminal, or if there will be room when you have finished using it.”

This launch comes after a test phase in April, in Hong Kong. To fund its expansion, Gobee.bike has achieved a fund raising of $ 9 million this summer. The chinese Ofo, the world leader in rental of bikes without terminal, is also expected to join the parisian market in the coming months.

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