MotoShare is an online platform exclusively for bikers, where you can rent bikes within a nearby community. This way, bikers can access a wide variety of bikes for a low price, renting them directly from other owners. For the owners of a motorcycle, the rental is safe and fully insured through MotoShare. Owners determine the price, date and to whom they rent their bikes.
MotoShare started in the Netherlands in 2016. It is the first sub-platform in the world dedicated to motorcycle rental. There are more than 20.000 connected bikers and about 3.000 bikes for rent on the platform, from custom bikes and sidecars to the latest models of BMW and Harley-Davidson. From 2019, motorbike owners in Spain can also earn money through MotoShare. Depending on the type of bike, an owner can earn up to 130 euros per day. In general, owners rent their bike on average 16 days a year. The collaborative economy enters the motorcycle market with MotoShare.
Often, owners are very attached to their bike and are very careful about how they use it and who they let ride it. That is why MotoShare pays special attention to safety. The rental at MotoShare is not insured with regular car insurance. When a contract is started at MotoShare, the owner’s insurance is temporarily replaced by a special insurance. In addition, before renting their motorcycle, owners can view previous reviews and the personal riding experience of the renters.
It’s founders, Jos Huisman and Daan van der Wal, have explained to Startups Real the way Motorshare works.
How did you meet and start the project?
Motorcycle riding in The Netherlands is mostly for leisure. As such, Jos and his friends mostly enjoyed trying different kinds of motorcycles: oldtimers, chopper, allroad and naked. Every bike offered such a different riding experience and adventure. Surely every biker would agree! But renting was expensive and buying motorcycles every time not realistic. Therefore, he wanted to make it possible to share motorcycles among owners. You rent out your motorcycle in the weekend and get to try a different bike yourself. MotoShare was born.
When did you launch it?
MotoShare started in the Netherlands and Belgium in 2016.
What are the keys to creating a team that works?
Enabling every team member to take ownership. Because the company is still a start-up, we do not strictly adhere to a formal role division, e.g.: finance, marketing or customer service. People can do multiple things. We do however give clear ownership per project. We will then try to give the means and trust to make the project a succes.
What does entrepreneurial experience bring to you on a personal and professional level? Why would you recommend it?
Long hours and a lot of persistence.
Why did you decide to focus on the motorcycle industry? How did you get to it?
We saw the opportunity for sharing motorcycles from personal experience and trend in the industry towards shared ownership. This was the mean reason to pursue this in the motorcycle industry.
What are the advantages of renting a motorcycle directly from another owner?
Large variety of motorcycles: New, old, custom, more affortable prices and meeting other bikers and sharing experience.
What precisely is the profile of the people who come to your platform?
Differs by country. In Spain mostly motorcyclists who own their own motorcycle and enjoy trying something else, or who are travelling to another city and looking for fun means to explore the surroundings.
The owners determine the price, the date and to whom they rent their bikes, what is your role?
Making sharing easy: we focus on promoting the possibilities of sharing your motorcycle, for both the owner and renter, and to provide an environment which enables owners with a few clicks to share motorcycles and renters to enjoy a different motorcycle.
What services do you offer to make the process safe?
We have signed an insurance contract with Allianz that covers all rentals through MotoShare. Moreover, in the platform architecture, we focus on stimulating safe behavior. For instance, we ask all renters to indicate their driving experience. In this way, owners can assess whether the renter has enough experience to drive their motorcycle.
What is your business model? How much do you charge for rent?
Offering a motorcycle on the platform is free. When it is rented, we take a 15% commission.
Today there are more than 20,000 bikers connected and about 3,000 bikes for rent on the platform, what are your expectations for growth?
Next year, we aim to double and grow in Spain to ± 1.500 motorcycles and ± 10.000 moteros.
How has ICEX helped you in your incursion into the Spanish market?
Spain was the first country we really expanded to, so we benefited a lot from the program. Both Daan and myself were familiar with Spain from yearly holidays, however never did business in Spain.
How was the reception for the bikers here?
Good! Much better actually then in The Netherlands. In Spain people are more open to the concept of sharing. However there also remains hesitation. But because we could show that we were successful in other countries with had thousants closed transactions, I believe it gave some relief. This might be the reason that quickly a lot of bikers joined.
How is it different from other regions where you are established?
In Nothern Europe, motorcycle riding is 95% leisure. In Southern Europe, it is 50% leisure and 50% functional use. Renting a motorcycle for functional use requires a slightly different system architecture. For instance, you might want to rent for 2 hours only, instead of 1 day. So this is something we are still developing it.
What elements are essential when internationalizing a startup?
For an online start-up, the website architecture is very important. Even at the start, when scope is limited to 1 country. Keep internationalisation in mind and have a good set-up for multiple currencies, timezones and languages at a later stage. So as, legal structure of the company is important.
What agreements do you have with companies like Allianz, RACC and Midas?
Allainz for insurance, RACC for roadside assistance and Midas to enable owners to get a free safety check of their motorcycle when registering on MotoShare.
What formulas have you followed for financing and client acquisition?
At this stage we do mostly online marketing. Next year, we aim to build a local marketing team in Spain and get on the road to motorcycle events and spread the word.
¿Cuáles son vuestros planes a medio corto/plazo?
Short term we are focussing to convince more motorcycle owners on join the platform in Spain, to ensure we have enough motorcycles for the demand in the high season in 2020.