The start-up journey: lessons and advice from Bikmo, premier cycling insurance

Entrepreneur David George has had quite the journey: starting in 2013 with a business idea driven by a passion for cycling, one crowdfunding attempt and subsequent business pivot later he has successfully launched the premier cycling insurance product on the market.

His initial business idea was a different project altogether. Grown from his frustration at the lack of places to compare deals on bikes and cycling equipment, especially in an era where comparison sites are so popular, he and his team of six passionate cyclists created BIKMO Search, a one-stop search engine for cycling products.

Upon launching BIKMO Search, David’s first thought was to turn to crowdfunding to support expansion. With crowdfunding growing massively as an industry, choosing a site to launch your campaign on can be difficult. For David, Seedrs was the right choice:

“At the time with Seedrs, if you were successful with your campaign, then you would receive the funds, less their 7% charge, and you would have just one single point of contact for all those investors – which could have been anything from 10 to 1,000. With other platforms, once you raised your funds, those shareholders would then be your responsibility and I didn’t want to have to manage an additional 10, 100 or 1,0­00 or so shareholders as it would take my time away from our core business.”

The unfortunate downside to the growth of crowdfunding is that, with so many campaigns out there, it’s not as easy as it once was to hit the funding target. For David, only 60 percent of the money was raised from investors; meaning he couldn’t receive any of the funding. In hindsight, he might have ran his campaign differently:

“When I first chose to run a crowd-funding campaign, it was done hastily as I needed to raise funds, and thought the exposure of a crowd funding campaign would help boost our business.

“Retrospectively, it should have been planned far better, with three to six months of effort put into building relationships with our customer base to make sure those who were interested in investing had enough time to answer questions and would jump on it, on the campaign launch date.

“The best example of this at the time was a campaign run by David Kitchen, who is also the chap who founded and runs the LFGSS (London Fixed Gear and Single Speed) forum. Running the forum and well respected in the London cycling sector, he leveraged forum users to inform them of the campaign before launching it. The result was that he hit 100 percent of his crowd-funding target within two hours – the fastest ever success story for Seedrs at the time.”

CEO David George

But as they say – if at first you don’t succeed, try again. The failure of David’s crowdfunding campaign turned out to be the biggest turning point in his career, changing the course of his business and taking it in an unexpected – but ultimately successful – direction. A fellow cycling enthusiast working in insurance put him in touch with insurance company Hiscox, who wanted to work together on an insurance product for cyclists. Not from an insurance background, David was understandably reluctant to move away from his passion, the BIKMO search business. However, after doing some research he quickly realised the huge gap in the market for such a product – and jumped on board:

“The aim behind, the bike and cycling equipment price comparison tool and content aggregator, was to make life easier for cyclists. After undertaking some research at the existing insurance providers and products, their archaic websites and user experience, and realising they simply didn’t understand cyclists fully, I immediately saw the huge opportunity in doing it the right way. We then set about creating a policy, web experience, and customer service that eclipsed anything else out there.”

With BIKMO, users can benefit from a simple three step sign-up process which is as super simple to buy, an exceptional user experience, expert knowledge of the cycling industry, an honest approach to insurance, 0% interest on monthly payments, online claims processing and faultless customer service, as testament by a 5* scoring.

David said: “I am delighted to see the reception my business has had since we launched 18 months ago. Our priority has always been, and will always be to simplify the lives of our customers with the use of technology and digital expertise”.



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