Baqme will make cars with shared cargo bikes redundant

What is Baqme?

A sharing platform for electric cargo bikes, which the startup would like to make short car journeys superfluous. First in Rotterdam and The Hague, soon in Ghent and in a few years perhaps in the other European cities.

The formula is simple: you download the app, reserve a bike, open the lock with the app, cycle from A to B and park the cargo bike within the urban zone.

A familiar concept. Still, according to co-founder Berenice van Gessel, Baqme fills a gap in the market: ‘There is still a Dutch party offering shared cargo bikes (Cargoroo, ed.), but in that battle a bicycle must always return to the same place. ‘

‘We let the user decide for himself how he uses the bike. And it catches on, because our data shows that only every fifth trip is a round trip. The rest cycle from A to B. ‘

Baqme works with the transport companies RET and HTM, so that travelers can travel with an electrically shared cargo bike after their bus or train journey.

Whos behind?

Rotterdam Baqme was founded in February 2021 by Souren Arakelian (35), Berenice van Gessel (35) and Sven Velthuis (35). Arakelian and Velthuis have known each other since high school. Van Gessel met Arakelian while they were both working in the financial sector. Van Gessel went to Uber, but when Arakelian told her about her idea for the electric cargo bike, she quickly changed.

‘We found that more than fifty per cent of all car journeys in the city are less than five kilometers. Cities are therefore increasingly encouraging residents to walk or cycle, but it is not realistic to bring children, animals or belongings with them. An electric cargo bike is the perfect solution, except for one aspect: the price tag. In addition, you do not need a cargo bike every day. That’s how we came up with the idea of ​​a sharing concept. ‘

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Who’s waiting for that?

Everyone with a transport need, over 18 years, with an emphasis on the group between 25 and 45. ”A large part of our target group consists of parents of young children who use the cargo bike to take their children to school or sports. ‘

“We also focus on the small companies that, for example, deliver packages. And for private individuals who want to transport things in the city. Think, for example, of a message in the hardware store, the garden center, or a trip with the suitcase to the airport. ‘

How far is Baqme?

More than a year ago, Baqme started with twenty bikes in Rotterdam. Since then, the start-up has been expanded with 350 cargo bikes in Rotterdam and The Hague. Another 150 cargo bikes will be added to Ghent this summer. It makes the startup skip our capital, which is striking. “It has to do with legal reasons. Amsterdam is somewhat stricter in terms of permits than other cities. ‘

Amsterdam is a little stricter in terms of permits

Baqme has recently started offering entrepreneurs an ‘E-cargobike as a Service’ (ECaaS). With a flexible monthly lease, they rent their own electric cargo bike. Entrepreneurs do not have to share this bike, but receive the key and the option to charge the battery themselves. Baqme takes care of the maintenance.

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The dream? It is large. Baqme wants it shared cargo provider be in Europe. After the Netherlands and Belgium, Germany is the third country on the bucket list. It’s highly likely that the startup will go live in a fourth city this summer, but Van Gessel can say nothing about that yet.

What is the revenue model?

Baqme has a few pricing models. The most used is the one of pay when you gowhereby the user pays a fixed starting rate of 1.95 euros and then 0.10 euro cents per minute.

‘Because we encourage longer use, we use different campaigns. An hour costs 6 euros, three hours 12 euros, a day 24 euros and a month 150 euros. ‘ The startup does not want to share revenue figures (yet).

Do you still need money?

So far, Baqme has raised about one million euros in investments. It came partly from its own network and partly from a crowdfunding campaign, with which the startup collected 400,000 euros within half an hour.

Baqme is currently in dialogue with investors on financing expansion plans. That is again 1 million euros.

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