A BIKE hire company is pedalling its way to export growth with plans to grow its turnover from £200,000 to £5m within five years. Newcastle-based Grand Scheme Bike Share is currently targeting the UK and Ireland but has plans to expand to other European markets and the US.
In June 2011, the firm secured investment to develop the completely new BYKER rental system, which is based on minimal on-street parking, requiring little more than standard bike racks and a signpost.
The pioneering system also offers new on-bike features including GPS tracking, solar charging and anti-theft devices.
Keen to spread its wings and develop new international markets, the company enlisted the support of UK Trade & Investment’s (UKTI) Passport to Export programme and commissioned an Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS) report to explore opportunities in Ireland.
Grand Scheme is now set to deliver three BYKER powered schemes in early 2013, one in Ireland at the National University of Ireland in Galway and two more in the UK at Sunderland University and the Headington area of Oxford.
The company’s chief executive Rob Grisdale said: “We’d been seeing bike hire schemes around the world and realised they were so expensive. The scheme in London costs £140m to roll out.
“Our new low-cost bike hire system does not require docking stations and is much quicker and cheaper to install than the heavy infrastructure systems deployed in large cities across the world.
“The compact technology integrates with any style of bike, and hire stations can easily be moved making it fully customisable for different applications.
“We’re currently a team of four, but we have plans for up to 20 staff over the next few years.